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Local charity steps up to transport migrants out of El Paso after city ends busing program

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Ruben Garcia, director of Annunciation House, greets migrants in El Paso, Texas (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

In response to El Paso shutting down its migrant busing program, a local charity announced that it would be taking action to help relieve the city of the staggering number of migrants crossing the border and overwhelming the shelters in the area, the New York Post reported.

A local charity steps in to help

Annunciation House, an immigrant aid charity, started a new route to Denver, Colorado, to help mitigate the crisis. In addition, the charity is campaigning to add more destination cities to its busing program.

Currently, the organization has only been able to bus 50 migrants out of the city as a pilot program.

The organization provided food and shelter to the migrants at a local community church. The plan is to then assist the migrants in reaching out to family and friends in the United States before busing them to their preferred destination.

"You've got to be prepared to respond," Ruben Garcia, the director of Annunciation House, told the New York Post. "We ask faith communities in cities in the interior of the United States to reflect on that and to ask themselves, 'Might we be willing to receive a bus of refugees? Is this something that we could do periodically?'"

The end of El Paso's busing program

El Paso stopped busing migrants out of the city after the Biden administration failed to pay $7 million in promised reimbursement.

The border town has spent approximately $8.9 million on the crisis, including providing migrants with food, shelter, and transportation. But in total, the federal government only reimbursed El Paso $2.2 million.

"We're waiting on $7 million in reimbursement and we're going to need to see some approval or some advanced funding before we start any other operations," said El Paso Deputy City Manager Mario D'Agostino.

For the duration of the program, which started in August, the city transported 14,000 migrants out of El Paso to New York and Chicago.

The city is burdened daily with roughly 1,400 migrants attempting to cross into the United States. Earlier this week, Customs and Border Protection stated that it was forced to allow over 600 migrants onto El Paso streets because the area's shelters were over capacity.

"We are not looking to get into the transportation business again," El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser (D) said.

El Paso's former busing program is separate from Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott's efforts, which continue to operate daily. Since August, Abbott has relocated approximately 8,300 migrants to Washington, D.C., 3,500 to New York City, and 1,100 to Chicago.

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