Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers have reportedly dumped more than 600 illegal immigrants on Texas streets this week, including 500 in El Paso on Wednesday.
According ABC-affiliate KVIA-TV in El Paso, Texas, the government agency is releasing the migrants because it doesn’t have the capacity to accommodate the illegal immigrants stealing across the U.S.-Mexico border and is concerned about criticisms that it is detaining the people for excessive periods of time.
Ruben Garcia, an administrator at the homeless and refugee shelter Annunciation House in El Paso, says it’s all a result of a new Customs and Border Patrol policy. According to Garcia, the policy states that if ICE has “more people to drop off [than] local shelters and agencies can receive and house, then ICE will drop those migrants off in the street.” (RELATED: Migrant Caravan Demand: Give Us Each $50,000 Or Let Us In)
Numerous reports this month maintain that while Americans are focused on the drama of the migrant caravan parked in Tijuana, immigrants continue to slip illegally across the Texas border in increasing numbers.
As Fox News reports, ICE is maintaining that its hands are tied thanks to “decades of inaction by Congress,” which has denied the agency the tools it needs to remove illegal immigrants from the country.
“To mitigate the risk of holding family units past the time frame allotted to the government, ICE has curtailed reviews of post-release plans from families apprehended along the southwest border,” ICE explained in a statement reported by Fox. “ICE continues to work with local and state officials and NGO partners in the area so they are prepared to provide assistance with transportation or other services.” (RELATED: Kirstjen Nielsen Says Detaining Would Be Refugees In Mexico Will Cut Illegal Immigration)
Garcia told KVIA that he informs ICE about available space in the shelter and has been processing about 2,000 migrants every week this month. Texas Democratic Rep.-elect Veronica Escobar told the Associated Press that ICE has released migrants at the El Paso bus terminal because the homeless shelters are full.