EL PASO, Texas (NewsNation) — A crisis is deepening in El Paso, where hundreds of migrants have been released on so-called “street releases” amid a surge in illegal crossings overwhelming the U.S.-Mexico border.
U.S. Border Patrol has been so overwhelmed in the region and the shelters are at capacity — one processing center is three times above its normal capacity, nonprofit shelters are starving for beds and volunteers, and a sudden surge of arrivals from Venezuela is ineligible for expulsion, the Border Report reported.
As a result, Border Patrol was forced to release more than 1,000 paroled migrants onto the streets of El Paso on Tuesday.
In addition, many Venezuelans are staying in El Paso longer than they want to because they have no U.S. sponsors and lack money to get out.
Many of these migrants are now gathering and living in tents underneath overpasses and sidewalks along Overland Street.
The county is calling the releases a matter of public necessity requiring immediate action. Local officials claim they are managing the crisis and say for every migrant seen on the streets of El Paso, 10 have been sent through the shelters to their final destination.
“It’s a manageable crisis right now. We would love the community to understand that, and to see 300-400, but what you’re not looking at is the 3,000-4,000 that we are able to process and send throughout the country,” said El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego.
City of El Paso officials are working to relieve the pressure by busing people out of town as soon as possible. On Monday, they approved a $2 million contract for a charter bus company — and are counting on the Biden administration to reimburse them. Office of Emergency Management personnel could be seen on Overland Street on Tuesday recruiting migrants for the next bus to New York City, according to the Border Report.