Migrants transported to out-of-state shelter as local hospitality sites reach capacity

El Paso News

On Sunday, for the first time since the Borderland began to see a rise in migrant releases, the executive director of hospitality group, the Annunciation House, confirms they’ve resorted to sending migrants to shelters out-of-state to Denver, CO.

Executive Director Ruben Garcia said a bus with 55 migrant refugees were bused from Las Cruces to Denver on a bus provided by the New Mexico Governor’s office. He said this was in response to a large number of refugees being released by Border Patrol.

According to Garcia, more than 2,500 migrants have been released in the Las Cruces and El Paso area since Friday.

“I think it’s a very real possibility that there are going to be days when the numbers that are released are greater than the capacity to receive them,” Garcia said.

He said Border Patrol released more than 40 migrant families into the streets of Downtown El Paso Saturday night because shelter spots were full. Local homeless shelter, the Opportunity Center took in the migrants.

“They were dropped off outside they didn’t have ticket connections so they had nowhere to go,” Social Services Director Dorothy Truax, said.

The Opportunity Center had migrants sleeping in the conference room and hallways as they tried to accommodate space, but they add it isn’t an ideal shelter for migrant families.

“It’s hectic, one reason is that we have families here, for the most part, this is a shelter that takes in people that live on the street, mentally ill, people with addictions, people that have more difficulty at this specific center is for adults.”

As KTSM previously reported, in December hundreds of migrants were left stranded at a Downtown El Paso Greyhound Bus Station with local advocates working to house them. Months later, those numbers continue to grow. 

“I do understand it’s difficult, Border Patrol and ICE are overworked but I think if somebody would let the public know hey we have a crisis this situation there’s no shelter space,” Truax said.

According to Garcia, migrant releases combined between Las Cruces and El Paso are averaging a thousand per day. 

KTSM reached out to Border Patrol about Saturday’s release, Border Patrol said their records show they only released 10 migrants during the daylight hour of 7 to 8 p.m. 

Migrants are expected to also be bussed to Dallas in the hopes of facilitating the process of getting them to their sponsors faster.

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