EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – During the last three days of November, Border Patrol released 550 migrants to the streets of El Paso, with a total of 1,348 migrants released throughout the month as the agency again deals with capacity issues.
On Thursday evening, migrants could be seen standing along the Tornado Express bus station on Paisano Drive.
Jader Alexander, from Nicaragua, says he was dropped off by Border Patrol on Thursday.
“I feel lost here, it’s the first time I get here, and I don’t know where they are going to leave me or drop me off,” he said.
If he can’t get a ticket out of El Paso, he said he may stay at the bus station overnight.
In a statement to KTSM regarding capacity at its Central Processing Center and other facilites, the Border Patrol said: “Due to the elevated number of migrant encounters, the El Paso Sector has averaged 2,800 migrants in holding daily, during the last seven days at the El Paso Sector’s Central Processing Center and overflow area. Most of these migrants are from Nicaragua, Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela.”
Meanwhile, Dylan Corbett, the executive director of the El Paso-based Hope Border Institute, says more churches are working to open their doors.
“More churches are opening already before December 21 here in El Paso so that we can begin to receive people in greater numbers so people aren’t left on the street,” he said.
Title 42 is the public health order that allows border agents to expel migrants who cross illegally. A judge ordered the Biden administration to roll back the policy on Dec. 21.
Border Patrol officials took KTSM 9 News to the border near Downtown El Paso on Thursday, across from where a tent camp used to be on the Mexican side.
Mexican authorities took down the campsite, but many migrants refused to go to shelters and ended up sleeping on the streets in Juarez.
The Border Patrol processing facility had fewer people in line waiting to be processed compared to when KTSM 9 News went with agents earlier in November. However, there was still a steady stream of people crossing.
According to a report by Axios, the Biden administration is considering a more hardline approach to immigration by prosecuting more single adults and expelling those who do not apply for legal entry before crossing the border once Title 42 is over.
Corbett said the government needs to allow people to seek asylum.
“The Federal Government needs to play its role first of all the federal government needs to follow the law which is to allow asylum to come into the country and make their asylum claims, that’s the law that’s the minimum that can be done,” said Corbett.
In addition, he says El Paso needs more support from the federal government.
“If there are needs that go beyond the capacity of local organizations the federal government needs to come in and step into the breach and help our city help our county so that we’re able to manage the challenges,” said Corbett.