(NewsNation) — As you wander through downtown El Paso, you’ll encounter numerous migrants on the sidewalks who find themselves with nowhere to go due to their lack of funds for purchasing bus or plane tickets to reach their final destinations.
Currently, 2,000 people are seeking asylum in El Paso daily — up from about 400 per day in August.
Nearly all migrants NewsNation spoke to are from Venezuela and have recently crossed into El Paso illegally.
The city’s single shelter can only hold a few hundred people per day. Due to the shelters operating beyond their capacity, hundreds of migrants, including children as young as 2 years old, are forced to sleep on the streets of the city.
NewsNation encountered a mother whose 6-year-old son was in a critical condition, suffering from a severe fever. She explained that they lack the financial means to access medication or medical services.
Some of the migrants NewsNation spoke to expressed the extreme dangers of living on the streets, especially for women.
“Many people arrive in cars at night and think that all the women are Venezuelan and prostitutes,” a Venezuelan male migrant said. “They arrive because they see the family conditions on the streets and say, “Buddy, I’ll offer you some money for your woman.” It has happened. I have seen cases of people who arrive to offer money for women simply because they take advantage of the migrant conditions, living on the streets.”
Meanwhile, the top three destinations that migrants express a desire to reach are Denver, Chicago and New York, coincidentally the same places where the city is providing transportation for migrants.
Border Patrol facilities are facing overwhelming numbers, promoting faster processing and release times. This means that within 24 hours, migrants find themselves on the streets of El Paso with a scheduled court date.
Thousands of migrants are arriving in the Mexican border town of Juarez, located just on the other side of the border. They embark on these train journeys from various locations, enduring harsh conditions and threats from smugglers throughout their journey.
Mexican officials have expressed that President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is interested in meeting with President Biden to discuss strategies for curbing the flow of migrants traveling through the challenging Darien Gap route.