El Paso migrant shelters see sharp dip in release numbers

Migrant numbers

After months of record-breaking migration numbers, EL Paso's main migrant shelter is reporting a sudden decrease in how many people they're seeing.

The Annunciation House is the headquarters for the main migrant shelter network in the El Paso region.

Migrants who cross illegally are caught by Border Patrol, processed, and then released to shelters like Annunciation House that help them get to family and sponsors. But the shelters haven't seen that many migrants over the past week.

El Paso has seen record numbers of migrants released to shelters for months on end, but where shelters saw 600 to nearly one thousand people released each day just a few weeks ago, it's now less than one fifth.

"Between 100-150 per day at even g released, so that's a pretty significant decline," said Ruben Garcia, director of the Annunciation House, who noticed the dip over the past ten days.

Congressional representative Veronica Escobar reached out to Customs and Border Protection to ask why this dip happened. She was told "they typically see a drop in summer months."

Historic data shows there is normally a slow down during the hotter months, but Garcia said the change is too harsh and sudden for it to be a simple seasonal change.

"Hundreds of refugees have been place into this migrant protection protocol and are being sent back to Juarez to await their court hearing," Garcia said.

According to Escobar CBP denied that this slow down has anything to do with the MPP.

Garcia said there're other factors at play too, some south of the border.

"Mexico has ramped up its enforcement throughout the country to help identify and stop Central Americans and send them back home," Garcia said.

While Border Patrol has said it's top early to call this a trend, Garcia told ABC-7 he has no reason to expect a change in release rates while what he identified as factors remain in play.

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