So many migrants are arriving in El Paso, Texas, that it’s causing a housing crunch, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Although much of the current focus is on a large caravan from Honduras that's heading to the U.S.-Mexico border, other large groups are also arriving and being released into the U.S. by Border Patrol agents, according to the report.
Immigration holding areas and detention centers across the U.S. are overcrowded because of it, according to the report.
“The Border Patrol has released so many families, advocacy groups in Arizona and Texas have had to house them in churches and motels,” the news outlet reported.
How many are arriving?
The nonprofit Annunciation House shelter expects to receive 1,200 migrants this week, followed by 1,500 next week.
“We’re in effect receiving a caravan a month,” Ruben Garcia, the shelter’s director, told the news outlet. His group rented 70 hotel rooms at a total nightly cost of $3,500 to help house the migrants.
During the interview, Garcia was reportedly called by a Border Patrol agent who asked if there was room for another 80 immigrants expected to arrive Thursday.
Garcia reportedly said it was doable because a church just told him it could take in another 90 people.
There are reportedly 16 religious groups in El Paso and Las Cruces, New Mexico, working to help the migrants.
“As the flow increases, I could say to Border Patrol I can’t accept any more. But I won’t, because I know what those holding cells are like. I want to expand our capacity,” Garcia told the Times.
He made the comment Tuesday while waiting for two Border Patrol buses to arrive with the 80 migrants.
What is the impact?
Federal immigration detention facilities are now near capacity. That is forcing officials to “release immigrants more rapidly and in larger groups. Immigrant advocates are taking on most of the work in finding the migrants a place to stay.
In September, the Border Patrol caught a record 16,658 migrant families who were illegally crossing into the U.S., the White House recently announced. During the fiscal year that ended last month, more than 161,000 immigrants turned themselves in, the report states. That’s more than 42 percent than in any previous year.
The total number of apprehensions this year are still lower than figures from 2014, the news outlet reported.