EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — Nearly 10,000 migrants apprehended in El Paso have either been expelled, relocated or put on flights out of the country in the past week, the Department of Homeland Security said Tuesday.
The removals, which include 3,400 Title 42 expulsions and expedited removal flights through Immigration and Customs And Enforcement, come as the city deals with an influx of migrants from Central America, South America and the Caribbean.
The U.S. Border Patrol moved almost 6,000 to other sectors to alleviate capacity in processing facilities.
Border authorities in the El Paso Sector had encountered about 2,500 migrants a day in recent weeks, but DHS says those daily encounters have dropped 40 percent to about 1,500.
U.S. officials credit their work with Mexico in discouraging disorderly migration and disrupting criminal smuggling operations.
Meantime, the Red Cross is working with local city and county officials to provide humanitarian assistance, including food, cots, and volunteer support.
On Sunday evening, U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, released a statement saying the American Red Cross was “preparing to stand up” an emergency shelter operation in El Paso that could potentially shelter up to 10,000 migrants through late January.
“This operation will support the ongoing efforts by the city and county to respond to the humanitarian challenges posed by the arrival of an unprecedented number of migrants at the border with Juarez and help better prepare El Paso for the imminent repeal of Title 42,” Escobar said.
El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser issued a disaster declaration on Saturday, which he said was a response to seeing migrants sleep outdoors in freezing temperatures.
On Tuesday, the state deployed the Texas National Guard, whose members use razor wire to promptly cordon off a gap in the border fence along a bank of the Rio Grande that became a popular crossing point in recent days for migrants. Guard members also used a loudspeaker to announce, in Spanish, that it is illegal to cross there.
Texas said it was sending 400 National Guard personnel to the border city.