Influx of Immigrants in Texas Border Towns as Detention Centers Reach Capacity

Various immigrant detention centers in the Texas Rio Grande Valley have swelled beyond capacity in recent months, which has led Border Patrol officials to release thousands of immigrants into the streets of these border cities at the direction of its parent agency, Customs and Border Protection. In just a few days in March 2019, Border Patrol released over 2,200 migrants from the government processing facilities with future dates to appear in immigration court.

The influx of immigrants has required the releases, despite the Trump administration’s clear directive to eliminate past protocols of “catch and release” of immigrants. The administration had vowed to focus on detaining immigrants who attempt to cross the border outside a normal port of entry until their deportation, rather than releasing them with a date to appear in immigration court.

Influx of Immigrants in Texas Border Towns as Detention Centers Reach Capacity

The release of these immigrants also has stressed migrant services facilities beyond their maximum capacity, as city officials struggle to meet the needs of large numbers of unexpected immigrants being released. In McAllen, for instance, a Catholic Charities immigrant respite center housed in an old nursing home is using every available inch to house these immigrants, at least on a temporary basis. Likewise, in El Paso, the release of 150 immigrants at once caused city officials to temporarily turn a public park into a staging area until they could find housing for these immigrants in local hotels, after shelters quickly ran out of space.

The influx of immigrants is seemingly endless, with most of them turning themselves in to Border Patrol and seeking asylum. In one 24-hour period, Border Patrol agents apprehended over 1,000 migrants in the McAllen area, most of whom were traveling in groups consisting of 200 or 300 people. Peek & Toland dedicates a large part of its practice to helping both individuals and businesses resolve their immigration-related issues. Immigration law is a complex, ever-changing area of the law that necessitates legal advice from experienced immigration lawyers who keep up-to-date with all relevant changes in law and policy. We will work with you to achieve the most positive outcome possible in your situation. Call our office today and set up a consultation with our skilled immigration attorneys today.

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