EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The County of El Paso will lease a building in East El Paso, near the airport for a migrant processing facility.

County Commissioners approved the items related to the processing facility during Monday’s Commissioners Court Meeting.

The building will cost over $11,000 a month to lease and that lease would start this month and last a year and be extended if need be.

The county also approved a contract for over $6 million with The Providencia Group that would run the facility, lasting until Nov. 13, 2024.

“We worked on it almost two months. Now trying to get the right building and the right contractor to run it and we think it’s going to take a big amount of the pressure off of the detention centers or the Border Patrol,” said El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego.

The money used is reimbursable from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) but not immediately.

The processing facility would be for single adult migrants who have sponsors. The facility would help them get in contact with their sponsors and get travel arrangements made to quickly move migrants.

As we reported, the City of El Paso opened its processing facility in Northeast El Paso recently.

However, Samaniego says that the county facility is different because it focuses on migrants who have sponsors while the city is focusing on migrants who do not have sponsors.

However, neither the county facility or the city facility provide any shelter for migrants.

“I want to challenge the city because they were supposed to take the shelter lane. We’re going to take the process lane so we are still looking at and asking them to look at that shelter possibility,” Samaniego said.

County Commissioner David Stout made a comment about not being completely up to date on what the city is doing during Monday’s meeting.

“We’ll continue to try to work with them to try to get more information from them to try to make sure that we’re not duplicating efforts, that we’re all on the same page,” Stout said.

On Monday, the group of migrants that could be seen camping out on West Overland Street in Downtown the following week was nowhere to be seen. Only a few migrants were waiting at the Greyhound bus station on Overland for their buses.

Samaniego said that he was notified that migrants had not been released to the streets in the past three days.

The City of El Paso says the city advised the people camping out in Downtown that state law does not allow camping on city streets.

A spokesperson for the city says those people were moved to shelters, hotels or connected with resources.

“Currently, we are using two hotels that are being used as temporary shelters. Today, and this number changes daily, we have nearly 400 migrants being housed at the hotel.  Our roving teams are making daily and continuous rounds to help connect the people with the appropriate resources. Once the migrants were moved to a shelter or hotel, we cleaned the space,” said Laura Cruz Acosta, a spokesperson for the city in an email on Monday.

One man from Venezuela, who was at the bus stop on Monday, said the police told people to leave.

“The people that were here in the street, the cops ran them out,” said Alexis Guerrero from Venezuela.

Guerrero said while he was able to get tickets out of town for him and his family, a lot of people from Venezuela haven’t been able too.

“I talk for myself. In my case, I do have a ticket but there’s other people who don’t have a ticket and they need help,” Guerrero said.

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