EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Sacred Heart Church and the Opportunity Center for the Homeless are seeing significantly fewer people at and around their shelters after numerous migrants decided to turn themselves in to be processed.
Opportunity Center’s Director John Martin said that you couldn’t see from one side of the alleyway behind the shelter to the other side from the number of people that camped out there.
This reduction appears to be the result of a “targeted enforcement” operation conducted by Customs and Border Protection officers.
From about 400 people on Monday night, he said by the morning they saw the numbers go down to half, and by noon, there were about a dozen people left in the alleyway.
Martin said he is not sure how many people exactly went to turn themselves in and how many just left.
He explained three families kept in touch with them after they were processed.
The families returned to the Opportunity Center’s Migrant Welcome Center and Martin said they can now help them book transportation to their destination.
Over in South El Paso around Sacred Heart, officials told KTSM there were about 1,000 people on Monday night and by the morning that number went down to 750.
The number of people seemed much lower on Tuesday evening with around 100 people in the area.
Shelters say this operation helped them at this time, but that they are still not sure what exactly is going to happen on Thursday once Title 42 is lifted, but that they are expecting larger numbers of people.
The migrants that are processed and receive proper documentation are able to travel out of El Paso but also become eligible for temporary shelter in the city’s two shelters at the vacant Morehead and Bassett middle schools.
The City of El Paso confirmed to KTSM on Tuesday that the two shelters are not open yet but will be open this week. No specific date was provided.
The City also reached out to the federal government asking what paperwork the migrants were being provided with exactly to determine if they would be eligible to stay in the city shelters.
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