“Steroid Crisis:” Hundreds of Immigrants Released to Sleep on the Streets of El Paso

About 500 immigrants were released onto the streets of El Paso, Texas, on Monday as the border city grappled with an influx of asylum seekers, putting the city under siege and overwhelming asylum and border detention facilities.

Homeless migrants were seen lying on mattresses and cardboard boxes in the city center after their claims were processed and brought into the country by border guards. According to KTSM-TV.

In what a local congressman has called a “crisis on steroids,” 5,628 asylum seekers are being held in temporary U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facilities for 3,500 people after Mexican officials bussed in people fleeing failed governments in Nicaragua. Peru and Ecuador to the US border this weekend.

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“Over the weekend, the El Paso Sector experienced a large increase in illegal crossings, averaging 2,460 people per day over the 3-day period, primarily through downtown El Paso,” wrote El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Peter Jaquez tweeted Monday.

Migrants line up near the El Paso border

Officials have sought to expand facilities ahead of an expected 40 percent increase in the number of migrants.

Immigrants gathered at the El Paso processing center

“We will continue to update the public as the situation changes,” he said.

Migrants line up near the El Paso border

Pandemic policies have prevented 2.4 million migrants from entering the country since March 2020.

Migrants line up near the El Paso border

This flow was expected with the December 21st court order ending Title 42.

Migrants line up near the El Paso border

More than 5,600 immigrants were in US custody at the El Paso crossing on Monday.

Agents have been overwhelmed, with about 2,400 immigrants turning themselves in at the border each of the past three days — more than 7,000 in total.

With no place to shelter, authorities had no choice but to release the 498 people into the streets where the temperature dropped below 50 degrees.

And El Paso officials have been warned that this is a taste of things to come — they were previously told to prepare for a 40 percent increase in the number of immigrants starting Dec. 21, the 42nd chapter of the pandemic. is set to expire.

The court decision to deport immigrants from Venezuela, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador was executed. Once the period expires, these migrants will be eligible for asylum again in the US if they meet the criteria.

Mayor Oscar Leaser, a Democrat, rejected calls from local lawmakers to declare a state of emergency on Monday, despite the city’s immigrant population doubling from a few months ago. At times throughout the year, Border Patrol agents were so overwhelmed with migrants that they had to let them out onto the streets.

Immigrants gather at the border, waiting for a chance to enter the United States.

Aside from city politics, El Paso County District Judge Ricardo Samaniego said he has reached an agreement with a local rescue mission to provide housing for some homeless migrants, and that the underutilized Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is trying to help Catholic leaders. thousand extra beds.

“We already had information that they were coming in that direction … all weekend [we] spent time with the congressman [Veronica] Let Escobar look at the FEMA funding and see how we can expedite it,” Samaniego told KTSM-TV.

“It’s not something we want to do, but I think we have to do it because the numbers are going up, we’ve already got 5,000 to 5,050 in detention and we’ve got people on the waiting list,” he added.

El Paso County is also seeking a larger location for its Migrant Support Services Center, which could accommodate 500 people a day.

U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzalez, who represents much of the southern border from just north of Laredo to outside El Paso, told the station about the large influx.

“Here we are, a week away from Title 42, and the crisis is now on steroids and everything that touches it is consumed now. There are no border guards in the field, everyone is in the processing centers,” said the republican.

Immigrants forced to sleep on the streets of El Paso are pictured earlier this year.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas planned to visit the border city on Tuesday to “meet with the CBP workforce, review operations and meet with local officials and organizations,” according to DHS.

Gonzalez reportedly called on Mayorkas to resign as the situation worsened. El Paso is represented in the House by Escobar, a Democrat.

“It’s not fair to the people of El Paso that the federal government has created this problem, I’ve seen the same thing happen in my county in Del Rio and Eagle Pass, so this is just the beginning, we can’t get any worse.” I think it will happen,” he told the station.

Border officials brought in additional agents and officers from the Big Bend and El Paso field officers to help “process individuals as safely and expeditiously as possible,” CBP said in a statement.

In addition to Sunday’s convoy that brought 2,400 migrants to the border, another 1,200 arrived on foot in Mexico’s Chihuahua state late last week and were picked up by state police over the weekend, officials said.

Migrants line up near the El Paso border
More than 5,600 immigrants were in US custody at the El Paso crossing on Monday.

Some of the migrants on the bus were rescued after they were kidnapped by an organized crime group on December 3 and forced to sleep in the same house. according to the survivor.

“I was traumatized by threats in my country and kidnappings here. I just want to get to a safe place. That’s what we’re asking for,” Carmen, a 29-year-old Peruvian woman who was among the abductees, told El Paso Matters on Sunday.


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