El Paso – Hundreds of asylum seekers spent part of Christmas Eve in a downtown car park here without knowing where they would eventually arrive.
Immigration and customs agents began dropping immigrants late Sunday at a local bus station without warning local shelters, which usually receive large groups after asylum and are called by federal agents.
About 200 people arrived on Sunday, and about 200 others arrived on Monday – the total number could exceed 800 by Wednesday, according to Ribo Betto Aurorque, de El Paso.
The ICE usually alerts the House of the Annunciation, a local shelter that receives tens of thousands of migrants and has several locations across this border town. But that did not happen on Sunday night, O'Rourke said.
"Our challenge is that, so far, the ICE has not been able to give us enough heads so that the family is ready so that you do not have migrants sitting on the sidewalk or in a parking lot or at a bus station or on a sun told Reuters in a park parking lot A local block on West Bus Station, "Sun Metro Bus".
When the shelters are full, Urork said, there is coordinated efforts with the city's emergency management office to set up temporary shelters and the ICE usually gives local respondents 24-hour notice.
Shelters are in capacity but volunteers and staff are usually able to find temporary accommodation elsewhere if they are given sufficient notification.
The dismissals come as the government is in the midst of a partial closure over a US Congressional dispute over the financing of the proposed border wall proposed by President Donald Trump. ICE did not immediately respond to the request for comment on Monday and it was not clear what role the closure played in the situation.
The El Paso section of the US Border Patrol, the agency that takes migrants for the first time when they arrive in the United States between ports of entry, said on Friday that its information offices would not be available during the closure. In October, ICE released more than 200 asylum seekers in the streets of El Paso after saying that the agency was no longer able to detain them for more than a few days.
O'Rourke said he and his staff are in contact with ICE offices, customs and border guards and are doing everything they can to ensure that migrants are placed in shelters or hotels – at least temporarily – until they reach their final destinations. .
"I know that people who work with ICE, CBP and BANCHION House want to do what is fair, I hope that [after] The talks we have had and we will have, we will be able to do what is necessary. "
Mariel Mendez, 28, sitting with her two-year-old son, Marcelo, in Fairfax County Memorial Park in the city center, said she was not sure about the next step.
"We hope we can contact the family in Tennessee," she said in Spanish. "But we have not heard anything yet, they just left us without any guidance. The couple traveled for a month by bus from Honduras before arriving in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, before crossing Rio Rio Grande and handing them over.
On Facebook's "House of Annunciation" page, officials there said they were able to provide shelter for immigrants who arrived Sunday through his network of volunteer partners. I asked the public to donate money, food and new clothes.
On Monday afternoon, it was clear that the call had been answered as many Basawans arrived near the bus station with food, water, clothes and stuffed animals for the children.
"Earlier today we went to Sam to buy a whole range of food, but that was not enough," said Basuer Javier Garagida. "So we had to go get a bunch of dollar burgers from McDonalds."
Garagida, an oil field engineer working in the Midland, said he might be late for the planned Christmas dinner, but he could not turn his back on his community. He said the cold weather – expectations calling for a 40-night drop Monday – is also a concern.
"We brought some blankets, but that's not enough," he said. "They have no right to do so in such a short notice, there are volunteers, but they need enough time" to act.