EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – Haitian migrants brought over from Del Rio, Texas, are being released from Customs and Border Protection custody in El Paso since Thursday, a local nonprofit confirmed.
Annunciation House on Thursday welcomed 108 Haitian nationals and is expecting to receive more this Friday. The organization provides short-term housing and social services to migrants who typically leave as soon as they procure transportation or sponsors in the U.S.
“Right now, we’re wanting to get our bearings on it. Today’s (Friday) numbers will be significantly higher,” said Ruben Garcia, executive director of Annunciation House.
The Department of Homeland Security since last Friday began flying Haitians who came across the Rio Grande near the city of Del Rio to other cities in Texas. This was an effort to reduce the size of a makeshift camp under a bridge that at one point held 14,000 migrants, mainly from Haiti.
El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego earlier this week told Border Report that an average of 500 migrants would be flown to El Paso from Del Rio every day for an unspecified period. The judge said it was his understanding the Haitians would be placed under the Title 42 public health order and sent back to their country. He said he was concerned whether the region’s social service infrastructure could handle the release of large numbers of newly arrived migrants.
Border Report on Tuesday documented the arrival of one such flight at El Paso International Airport and the transfer of the migrants by bus to a Border Patrol processing center.
Federal officials in El Paso on Thursday referred any press inquiries about the transfer of the Haitians to DHS in Washington, D.C.
Border Patrol El Paso Sector Chief Gloria Chavez tweeted photos of individuals getting clothing and water at a processing center under the hashtag #Humanity. The Border Patrol later confirmed to Border Report that the migrants shown in the photos are newly arrived Haitians.
Garcia said the shelters run by Annunciation House were “okay” for supplies right now.