2,000 undocumented immigrants sent from South Texas to El Paso since June; all have since left El Paso

Full Annunciation House news conference

EL PASO, Texas - Two thousand undocumented immigrants – all of them families – have been sent to El Paso from South Texas for processing since June 7.

All of those immigrants are no longer in El Paso and have gone to other cities to meet up with family members.

The families were sent to El Paso for processing because South Texas was overwhelmed by the number of undocumented immigrants.

Annunciation House Director Ruben Garcia said in a news conference Thursday that there are three sites in El Paso and one site in Las Cruces that have been helping with temporarily housing immigrant families once they are released from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Another site is being set up and is expected to be up-and-running in El Paso next week. All of the sites are connected with churches.

Most immigrants stay at the immigrant sites one to two nights – sometimes a couple of more days.

Taylor Levy, Family Immigration Program Coordinator for Las Americas Immigration Advocacy Center, who directs one of the immigration sites, gave some statistics on who has come through the site she operates.

"In the last two weeks we've had 316 family units made up of 743 people," Levy said. "Most have been single mothers."

Levy said that of those people they've received in the last two weeks, 45 percent have been Honduran, 30 percent Salvadoran, 17 percent Guatemalan, with some Mexicans and other south americans.

A plane with 140 immigrants arrived in El Paso on Wednesday and another with 140 arrived Thursday morning.

Garcia said it usually takes one to two days of processing before immigrants are released by ICE on their own recognizance and are taken to one of the local sites.

Garcia emphasized that food, clothing, and other items have all been donated and they are not asking, nor wanting tax dollars to help with the sites.

He also touched on some health aspects of the immigrant situation, saying that only seven or eight people have had to be taken to the emergency room and only one of them had to be admitted and that was for appendicitis.

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