El Paso is “on the cusp of a third wave” of migrant arrivals as local shelters are over capacity, a local nonprofit official told CNN on Monday.
The three shelters run by the Opportunity Center for the Homeless, a nonprofit, have been over capacity for three weeks, the organization’s deputy director, John Martin, and Customs and Border Protection told CNN Americans are increasing the number of people released onto the streets.
“On Friday, we saw 700 people leave the streets. The El Paso Office of Emergency Management had to step in and help house the migrants in hotels,” Martin said.
Street releases also cause a bottleneck situation: Migrants are staying longer in El Paso because of a lack of resources to get to their destination, Martin said.
The reasons people immigrate to the United States are wide-ranging, experts say, with some fleeing violence, while others are seeking economic opportunities or reuniting with family members already here.
The region has seen an increase in migrants at the border, averaging 1,200 encounters per day, said Laura Cruz-Acosta, El Paso’s director of strategic communications. NGOs, city and county officials see more than 1,100 people released into the community every day, she added.
The city has housed “more than 4,200 migrants in the last seven days” in hotels, Cruz-Acosta said.
“The City of El Paso and the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) continue to provide emergency shelters to support local NGOs, the County Migrant Services Support Center and receive direct releases from CBP,” Cruz-Acosta said. “OEM is currently operating hotels and more than 900 migrants are receiving food and shelter while they secure and await their journey. »
Asked about migrants being released into U.S. cities, CBP said in a statement to CNN that the agency is “working in accordance with its plan and within our standard processes to rapidly decompress areas along the southwest border , and screen and process migrants safely and effectively.” to place them in immigration enforcement proceedings in accordance with our laws.
Southern California has also seen an influx of migrants in recent days.
About 2,000 migrants have arrived in San Diego County in recent days as humanitarian groups work to provide them with additional resources, the Immigrant Defenders Law Center – a law firm focused on immigrant communities based in Los Angeles.
That number is being reported through shelter and relief efforts, said spokeswoman Alicia Vargas. There was no advance planning or notification about the migrants’ arrival, and most of them need additional help, she added.
“We met with federal officials to ensure a safe and coordinated process for migrants as well as our residents,” San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said in a statement. “As Congress deliberates a government funding package, it is imperative that it includes the Biden administration’s request for supplemental appropriations for the southwest border, which includes $600 million to help our nonprofit organizations lucrative in their ongoing hosting and support operations.
In the city of El Cajon, about 17 miles east of San Diego, Mayor Bill Wells called the wave a “disaster.”
“Every emergency room is packed in SD County. Our homeless shelters are full. Resources are limited,” Wells said in a social media post.