EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — The federal government is building an immigration processing facility in Northeast El Paso expected to begin hosting migrants in mid-January, U.S. Customs and Border Protection confirmed on Tuesday.
The elongated, tent-like facility is going up near US 54 at Mesquite Hills. It will have a capacity for up to 1,000 migrants at a time, a CBP official told Border Report. The facility will be staffed by U.S. Border Patrol processing coordinators and other federal personnel and contractors.
“We are busy here in the El Paso Sector and any foreseeable end of Title 42 we are going to be processing and encountering more migrants than ever before,” said U.S. Border Patrol Acting Supervisory Agent Carlos A. Rivera. “One of the resources we are implementing right now, we are getting one of 10 soft-sided facilities from CBP on Highway 54. It is one more processing area, one more facility that we will be operating to deal with this current migrant influx.”
The facility is part of “wrap-around” contracts meant to surge resources to CBP to deal with increased migration.
The new processing center is going up as the U.S. Supreme Court weighs an an appeal by Republican governors to President Biden’s intent to bring to an end the controversial Title 42 policy that has allowed border agents to swiftly expel more than 2 million migrants coming across the border without authorization since 2020. Many of those migrants may have been asylum seekers; others were economic migrants that would have been deportable even without Title 42, advocates and federal officials have said.
CBP has primarily been using the Central Processing Station near the corner of US 54 and Hondo Pass during the migrant surge. CBP in recent weeks has been holding up to 5,100 migrants at a time due to the historic surge in the El Paso Sector that began building up in September. CBP had more than 1,800 migrants in custody in El Paso as of Monday, according to the City of El Paso’s migrant dashboard.