Hundreds of migrants being cared for in Albuquerque

March 12, 2019

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — About 300 migrants are being cared for in Albuquerque, New Mexico, after being released from federal custody in El Paso, Texas.

The nonprofit organizations in El Paso that have been housing asylum-seekers are running out of room, forcing men, women and children to be bused Sunday to Albuquerque after being released from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

“Each has a sponsor in the United States, and the sponsor pays for their travel,” Albuquerque Communications Director Matt Ross said. “That’s what’s happening now. They’re coming through Albuquerque, where they stay for a short time, a day, overnight, couple of days while their sponsor — wherever that person is — arranges transportation.”

The migrants are staying at hotels while they are processed to be sent around the country to stay with their families or sponsors as they await formal hearings, Ross said.

Annunciation House in El Paso called Sunday morning to say it didn’t have room for 300 migrants and they were going to be sent to Albuquerque instead, said Father Vincent Chavez of Saint Therese of the Infant Jesus Catholic Church.

The group is staying at a couple of hotels around the city. But Chavez said they’re keeping the locations private to guard against anti-immigrant protesters.

The migrants, who are from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, turned themselves in at the border and are officially requesting asylum, Ross said.

“We see them just as people fleeing extortion, violence, economic reasons, and wanting hope and a future,” Chavez said.

All contents © copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.