A Texas border city’s homeless shelters are at their “breaking point” after the Biden administration released hundreds of illegal migrants onto the “streets,” local officials told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“We just simply got to a breaking point that we couldn’t take another person,” John Martin, Deputy Director for the Opportunity Center for the Homeless, a local nonprofit shelter in El Paso, Texas, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “We were just inundated with people. And to put this sort of perspective for you, our particular shelter has a capacity of about 85 people. We have gone a few nights now where we’ve been over 110.”
The Opportunity Center, a shelter for the homeless currently housing illegal migrants, opened a new temporary facility to handle the influx on Aug. 1 and over a month later it’s at capacity with migrants having to stay in hallways, meeting rooms and wherever the facility “can squeeze them in,” Martin said, adding that the situation is no different for other shelters in the area. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Biden Admin’s Border Policies Aren’t As ‘Humane’ As It Thinks, Two Migrants Say)
Border Patrol released 133 illegal migrants on Sept. 7 and 350 illegal migrants on Sept. 8 near shelters and bus stations in El Paso, El Paso border sector spokesperson Landon Hutchens told the DCNF. The majority of the illegal migrants in Martin’s shelter are from Venezuela.
“U.S. Border Patrol in the El Paso Sector has recorded a significant increase in migrant encounters compared to previous fiscal years. Since the beginning of the month of September, the El Paso Sector has seen an additional increase to an average of more than 1,100 daily migrant encounters,” Hutchens told the DCNF.
The Opportunity Center has been assisting the city government, which asked the shelter to step in after the Border Patrol processing center was “over capacity,” leading to the release of illegal migrants “to the streets,” Martin said.
“The El Paso Sector Border Patrol works closely with ICE Enforcement of Removal Office for detention space and with local government officials and Non-Government Organizations to decompress the high capacity of migrants in holding at the El Paso Sector’s Central Processing Center. Once those options are exhausted, provisional releases into the community are considered,” Hutchens said.
The influx in illegal migrants led the city to recently begin busing them to New York City, an effort funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), El Paso Deputy City Manager Mario D’Agostino recently told the DCNF.
“A majority of those that we received all wanted to go to New York City,” Martin explained, saying his organization is hoping “to tap into those FEMA funds as well.”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has encountered over 1.9 million migrants at the southern border between October 2021 and July 2022.
The El Paso mayor’s office didn’t respond to the DCNF’s request for comment. Neither the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) nor the White House immediately responded to requests for comment.
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