The City of El Paso has opened up an overflow shelter to house unlawful migrants as the city deals with an increasing number of arrivals.
According to El Paso Matters, the overflow shelter was opened at Nations Tobin Recreation Center in Northeast El Paso over the weekend after hotels were used to house more than 700 people in one day the previous week.
An email sent out by the city stated that the shelter was originally being set up “out of an abundance of caution,” but now the shelter must be utilized to avoid releasing people into the streets without housing, per El Paso Matters.
The shelter is expected to house roughly 400 people, but officials have said the additional housing will likely not be enough to manage the ongoing crisis.
While the shelter may provide some relief, the city has said that it receives roughly 2,000 unlawful migrants each day, and there are already 6,500 in custody, according to CBS Texas.
John Martin, deputy director of the nonprofit Opportunity Center for the Homeless, told CNN last week that El Paso was on the “cusp of a third wave” of unlawful migrant arrivals, and the city had already used a significant amount of available resources.
“On Friday we saw 700 street releases. The El Paso Office of Emergency Management had to step in and help with sheltering migrants in hotels,” he said, per CNN.
The increasing number of arrivals has prompted action from elected officials in El Paso and other border cities.
Last week, Eagle Pass Mayor Rolando Salinas, Jr. issued an emergency disaster declaration due to the crisis.
Roughly 2,700 unlawful migrants were waiting to be processed under the port of entry bridge in Eagle Pass on Wednesday night, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.
Gov. Greg Abbott has also taken action in an attempt to help the crisis going on in El Paso and Eagle Pass.
On Friday, Abbott told the Texas Division of Emergency Management to “deploy additional buses to Eagle Pass and El Paso to assist these border communities overwhelmed and overrun by Presiden Joe Biden’s border crisis,” as reported by The Dallas Express.
Abbott’s busing of unlawful migrants to sanctuary cities across the country is not a new decision, as the Texas governor has bused more than 25,000 people in total to Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Chicago, and more.
Still, the Biden administration has defended its management of the U.S. border, with Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre saying recently, “The president has done more to secure the border and to deal with this issue of immigration than anybody else.”
The U.S. and Mexico came to an agreement on Friday in which Mexico agreed to deport unlawful migrants from its border cities and return them to their original countries, per CNN.
Mexico stated that it will begin to discuss the deportation process with the governments of Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela.
Additionally, agents from Border Patrol will now be authorized to deport unlawful migrants through the Ciudad Juárez International Bridge in El Paso, as reported by CNN.