More than 1,600 migrants put on to streets in El Paso
The US government released more than 1,600 migrants on to the streets of El Paso, Texas, last week, overwhelming aid agencies that have scrambled to find shelter for families.
Advocacy groups said the mass release was “unprecedented”, as volunteers turned out in droves to bring food, water and medicine to migrants stranded in the border city.
“It is unacceptable to release families with children, some of them very young children, to the street,” said Ruben Garcia, executive director of Annunciation House, El Paso’s largest migrant shelter operator.
The chaos began last month, when 214 people, all families, were released without the usual warning given by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) to Annunciation House, Garcia said. Volunteers worked until at least 2am or 3am trying to find shelter, Garcia said.
Hundreds of people were then released on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and last Thursday.
Garcia said Annunciation House and its partners have provided space to about 2,200 people a week, and are hoping to expand to at least 3,000 beds a week.