EL PASO, TEXAS (KTSM) – Some suitcases at the El Paso International Airport are filled with Christmas presents, on their way to vacation. And some modest bags filled with a few clothing items, snacks and hope, are on their way to a new life.

Dozens of migrants at the El Paso International Airport are spending their days waiting for their flight or a ticket to move on to their next destination.

One man from Ecuador said he and his wife spent the past two days at the airport waiting for their flight on Thursday.

“They gave us the opportunity to sleep here, right here in the back where they are offering us shelter. And we rested there for at least two days so we can leave to our destination,” he explained.

The migrants were allowed to spend the night at the airport in a designated area if their flight was 12 hours away, according to the city.

One woman from El Salvador, along with her husband and two small children, said their journey was hard and they arrived in El Paso on Tuesday.

They didn’t know where else to go so they took a taxi to the airport.

“I did ask immigration, but they said they didn’t have any shelter for them, and they said you have to figure it out yourself, how to get to your destination,” she said.

City-county officials spoke about diverting people from the El Paso airport by providing transportation directly to bigger airports such as in Houston and Dallas.

“I always give an example that a ticket here that is 800 dollars would be about 120 dollars in Houston,” said County Judge Ricardo Samaniego during Monday’s press conference.

Deputy City Manager Mario D’Agostino explained there aren’t enough flights coming out of El Paso’s airport to accommodate all the migrants in a timely manner, especially as more keep crossing the border.

“The county’s processing center is doing an excellent job in making sure they are ticketed and that so that when they go to a charter overnight in the morning they fly out of Houston’s airport,” D’Agostino saiod.

Meanwhile, holiday travel is in full swing, and travelers are asked to prepare.

The city sent out a statement advising travelers to arrive at the airport at least two hours before flight’s departure, check their flight status and ensure gifts in their carry-on luggage are unwrapped for faster inspection at the security checkpoint.

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