EL PASO, TEXAS: Border shelters in El Paso, Texas are already “overwhelmed” by the sheer number of migrants they are dealing with, even before Title 42 expires later this week, officials working at residences told Fox News Digitals.
“It’s just an overwhelming number that we see now. That’s why I don’t think we have a problem processing migrants. It’s just migrants in this capacity, the systems are overwhelmed, the shelters overwhelmed. overwhelmed,” Nicole Reulet, director of marketing for the Rescue Mission in El Paso said.
El Paso is one of the toughest places on the border. This week, officials launched a “targeted enforcement operation” after more than 2,000 migrants camped on the streets.
This reflects a situation across the border, where sectors are seeing more migrants arrive at the border before the Title 42 public health order expires later this week.
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The order has been used since March 2020 by the Trump and Biden administrations to immediately deport hundreds of thousands of migrants due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, with the end of the order, migrants are starting to come to the border. Fox News reported on Wednesday that there were more than 10,000 encounters a day across the border.
Administration officials have warned migrants not to make the dangerous journey north, and have also increased funding to NGO partners who help when migrants are released into the interior.
But NGO officials Fox spoke with said they face many more months.
“For us, it started in August 2022 and then it never stopped, but it became more manageable until about two weeks ago,” John Martin, deputy director of the Opportunity Center for the Homeless, told Fox News Digital.
He said that things started to change when one day there were 70 migrants in an alley near the center, which they moved to the parking lot but could not be taken inside the center because they had capacity.
“The next day that number grew to 150. And within about a week it grew to over 800,” he said.
“The truth of the matter is that we want to continue our mission, and that is to work for everyone. But we’ve reached a point where we have too many people and it’s unthinkable,” he said.
Reulet said he expects his organization to be at capacity on Thursday – and noted the staff shortage.
BIDEN ADMIN SAYS ‘BETTER’ BORDER BUT AFTER TITLE 42 – BUT MIGRANTS WON’T LISTEN
“Although there have been some drops in numbers to give us some breathing room, our staff is running on fumes just because of the sheer number of people serving,” he said.
Martin said there is a lot of uncertainty about what the future holds.
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“I heard different numbers, but the numbers are shocking, although they can vary depending on: are we looking at 500 a day or are we looking at a thousand or are we looking us at 1500? Nobody has an answer to that. so I kind of jokingly started saying that the first volunteer I need is someone with a crystal ball who can actually tell me what happen.”
He said that as much as they prepare as much as they can, it may not be enough depending on what happens next.
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“I will tell you, because of the staggering numbers that could be involved, that no matter how prepared we are, we may not be ready yet.
To hear more from El Paso shelter directors, click here.