- Nearly 1,000 migrants have been released in El Paso in the past week, as the border crisis continues
- Many have been left sleeping on the street without access to toilets or showers, causing vile conditions
- Surge of migrants, mostly from Venezuela, has overwhelmed Border Patrol across Texas
- With facilities overwhelmed, many are being dropped off near bus stations and left to fend for themselves
- ‘It’s almost apocalyptic,’ says US Rep. Tony Gonzales, with El Paso also likened to a third world country
A humanitarian crisis is deepening in the Texas border town of El Paso, where nearly 1,000 migrants have been released to sleep on the streets amid a surge of illegal crossings that is overwhelming Border Patrol facilities.
Following a large influx of migrants, primarily from Venezuela, Border Patrol facilities and shelters in the west Texas town have been overwhelmed in recent days, leading to a flood of so-called ‘street releases’.
Congressman Tony Gonzalez, a GOP US Representative, told the New York Post: ‘We’ve never seen anything like this.
‘It’s a scene that you would see in a third-world country, not in the streets of El Paso.’
It has led to scenes of misery, with hundreds of migrants sleeping on the streets without access to toilets or showers, and residents say that the ‘smell of human waste is overwhelming in the area,’ according to KVIA-TV.
‘There’s nothing safe about having people roaming the streets, it’s almost apocalyptic,’ Gonzales, who represents part of El Paso, told the ABC affiliate.
‘I’d argue that we’re very compassionate people, people who want to give the shirt off their back, but when there’s no end in sight, it’s just not fair,’ said Gonzales.
The situation in El Paso comes days after the Biden administration officially extended special protections for Venezuelans, known as Temporary Protected Status, that shield some of them from deportation.
News of the grim situation in El Paso comes a day after migrants in Eagle Pass, 450 miles east along the border, were reported to have killed a guard dog and begun eating animals in desperation.
Just shy of 200,000 illegal immigrants were intercepted crossing the southern border in July, according to the most recent CBP figures available.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has begun bussing thousands of migrants to so-called sanctuary cities including New York, Washington DC and Chicago, where leaders there have moaned about struggling to cope with them.
But El Paso – the sixth largest city in Texas – is one of a number of border areas facing an exponentially worse crisis. It has a population which is 81 percent Hispanic and relies heavily on the petroleum industry for local jobs – but is also home to a large medical center and university. The average house there costs $203,000.
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