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Home | News | More Migrants Dropped Off in Downtown Monday Afternoon; 200+ More Expected Tonight

More Migrants Dropped Off in Downtown Monday Afternoon; 200+ More Expected Tonight

According to Herald Post Reporter Andra Litton, shortly after 2 p.m. Monday Afternoon, Immigration and Customs Enforcement dropped off an unknown number of migrants at the Downtown El Paso Greyhound Bus Station.

Officials with Annunciation House had expected another 200 migrants tonight, however the group dropped off at the bus station was not included in that total.

For those residents wishing to help,  Annunciation House, has been the organization at the forefront of helping the migrants, with shelter, food and assistance in getting to their final destination. To donate, visit their website 

Reporter Andra Litton spoke with Rep. Beto O’Rourke and Dylan Corbett w/Hope Border Institute in Downtown El Paso

**This is a developing story and will be updated as information becomes available**  PREVIOUS STORIES BELOW 

**story update from 1:35p

Via a Facebook post Monday afternoon, Ruben Garcia with Annunciation House, updated the community on the migrant situation and what types of specific donations are needed at this time.

Annunciation House—and our network of partner organizations and volunteers—is providing hospitality to the 200+ refugees who were dropped off by ICE last night at the Greyhound Station with no advanced notice. This is in addition to our ongoing work with planned refugee releases. Annunciation House has been very grateful for the community’s rapid response in meeting the urgent needs of this vulnerable population. Here are some of the ways you can help:

-Financial Donations: these allow us the most flexibility in meeting the diverse needs of our guests. We use financial donations to pay for the motels we are renting out to provide overflow shelter. We buy extra food when donations falter. We buy cleaning supplies and gas for our vehicles. We buy prescriptions for our guests and respond to urgent medical needs. Please consider donating at https://annunciationhouse.org/financial-donations/

-Clothing: WE ARE NOT ACCEPTING DONATIONS OF USED CLOTHING. While we appreciate your generosity, we simply do not have the space or person-power to receive, sort, and store used clothing donations. They will not be accepted. We ask that you please respect our wishes and direct your used clothing donations elsewhere. If we ever start to run low on these donations, Annunciation House *directly* will put out a call to the community

-Donations: We are accepting donations of NEW underwear, bras, and socks in sizes small & medium for men, women, and children. We are also accepting donations of boxes of fresh fruit, especially apples, tangerines/oranges, and bananas. These can be brought from 8am-8pm to 1003 E San Antonio Ave, El Paso, TX 79901

-Meals: We need organized groups (usually church groups) willing to bring prepared meals to our various houses of hospitality to feed groups of 50-100 refugees. If you are a member of such a group that is interested, please email us with some basic information about your group and your availability at refugees@annunciationhouse.org

-Volunteers: We are in need of volunteers, especially those willing to drive folks to the bus station and airport. If you are already volunteering, please contact your usual point of contact to inquire if additional help is needed. If you are not currently volunteering with us, please email us so that we can do a basic screening process: refugees@annunciationhouse.org. Please have patience with us in trying to respond as quickly as possibly and please understand that volunteers who show up unannounced will generally not be accepted.

Thank you again so much for your generosity and willingness to Welcome the Stranger, especially during this holiday season.

***story from 1030a

More than 200 migrants claiming asylum were dropped off at El Paso’s Downtown Greyhound station just after 8 p.m. Sunday night by Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.

The move came as a shock to local immigrant advocacy groups who were not notified ahead of time that a need for shelter for that many people was needed.

KFOX-TV was the first to report the unexpected surge at the local Greyhound on the corner of Overland and Santa Fe Streets late Sunday evening.

Within an hour, El Paso Police had been called in to help control the crowd and local El Pasoans arrived with food, water and supplies for the migrants. The migrants were all from South America, most from Guatemala and Honduras. All of the adult migrants were traveling with children and most said they hadn’t eaten all day when ICE released them in Downtown El Paso.

Typically, ICE coordinates with local non-profit Annunciation House to secure the beds needed before releasing migrants. Sunday, however, Ruben Garcia with Annunciation House was notified that a need for 300 beds was needed. Garcia said he only had space for 200 migrants at their existing facilities due to the slowed holiday Greyhound bus schedules. As a result, Garcia welcomed the 200 migrants earlier in the afternoon to Annunciation House shelter locations throughout the city.

It wasn’t until 8 p.m. that Garcia and other local organizations were notified of the additional 211 migrants who had been left in Downtown. The large drop off forced immigration advocates and county leaders to spring into action to secure housing for the group.

Garcia, along with the El Paso City County Office of Emergency Management, County Judge Ruben Vogt and Dylan Corbett with the Hope Border Institute had five Sun Metro buses brought to the Greyhound Station to keep the migrants, many of whom were small children, warm while they attempted to secure a long-term shelter for them.

By 1 a.m. the Downtown group had been sent to two emergency locations in El Paso where Garcia says they’re expected to stay for at least two days. Migrants who are released by ICE in El Paso have sponsors, usually family or friends, in other parts of the country who will purchase bus or plane tickets to get them to their final destination within a day.

Due to the holiday bus schedules, Greyhound was booked through Christmas. The longer bus wait times means more migrants will be forced to stay in El Paso at the emergency shelters for the next two days according to Garcia.

A recent surge of asylum claims at the El Paso Ports of Entry are creating a strain on local non-profits working to assist the migrants as they travel through El Paso. Garcia previously told the El Paso Herald Post that more than 2,000 migrants a week were being processed by Annunciation House in the last two months.

Garcia told the Herald Post that in total, more than 400 migrants were released by ICE on December 23 alone. All were expected to need shelter for several days.

An attempt to reach ICE for public comment late Sunday night was unsuccessful after an auto-reply e-mail was sent stating that the public information officers were on furlough due to the government shut down and could not be reached for comment until the government reopens.

Congresswoman-elect Veronica Escobar and Congressman Beto O’Rourke along with Ruben Garcia are expected to meet with officials from ICE Monday afternoon to determine what caused the unexpected release of migrants.

If you would like to donate food to the emergency shelter sites, please contact Annunciation House at (915) 545-4509 or the Borderland Rainbow Center at (915) 263-4623. Volunteers who speak Spanish and are able to help at the sites are also needed and can be coordinated through the two contacts listed above.

For those residents wishing to help,  Annunciation House, has been the organization at the forefront of helping the migrants, with shelter, food and assistance in getting to their final destination. To donate, visit their website 

About Andra Litton

Andra is a proud native El Pasoan and graduate of Eastwood High School. She attended the University of Texas at Austin where she majored in rock n' roll for 7 years before moving back home in 2008. After manning the social media desk for Eastwood Alumni, she was asked to join the KTSM Overtime show in 2012. She continued her tenure at KTSM, working as content producer, assignment desk manager and digital content manager during her six years at the station. She'll get super nerdy about documents and data. Andra covers crime, politics, sports and immigration issues for the Herald Post.

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3 comments

  1. They wanted them to be able to cross the border so here they are. Deal with it. ICE is not being paid during the govt. shutdown and should not be expected to deal with these people. They should all be sent. By the way, where all the children in these pictures?

  2. Send them to Beto Orourke’s house. He wants them here. These people will destroy us just like they have done to Tijuana. You feed them once and they will never leave. Feed El Paso children first. America first. Send them back.

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