Las Cruces, New Mexico officials reported on Monday that Border Patrol agents released almost 1,600 migrants into the town of just over 100,000 residents over a 10-day period, forcing the city to spend $75,000 on humanitarian assistance.
On April 12, CBP began releasing the migrants apprehended in the El Paso Sector, according to KVIA ABC7, which come as the agency reaches a breaking point trying to handle thousands of Central American migrant families crossing the border illegally in West Texas and the New Mexico boot heel, reports Breitbart's Bob Price.
The City of Las Cruces responded by setting up a network of temporary shelters to house the “asylum seekers” while they attempt to arrange travel to other parts of the U.S., the Las Cruces Sun News reported. Nearly 1,200 were dropped off by Border Patrol agents during the first week alone.
Mayor Ken Miyagishima told the local newspaper that most of the migrants move out quickly. He said, “75 percent are gone.” He explained the City is providing resources to about 250 people at any given time. -Breitbart
Mayor Miyagishima made arrangements with Santa Fe and Albuquerque to take migrants on a rotating basis, according to the report. "It looks like they’ll be taking some. We just need to figure out transportation," he said, adding "We could easily handle 200, but not 200 a day."
"That’s why I’m thinking if Santa Fe can do 150 to 200 every three days, I think it is more manageable."
Homeland Security officials based in New Mexico told KVIA that they expect more "asylum seekers" to be dropped off in Law Cruces "for several more weeks."
State of emergency
Neighboring Otero County declared a state of emergency, and has called on the New Mexico governor to re-deploy the National Guard to re-open interior checkpoints, according to the El Paso Times. The checkpoints - which routinely find drugs and human cargo being smuggled into the United States - were temporarily shut down last month.
"If this demand is not met by the State of New Mexico in one week’s time, the County of Otero will take action itself to provide security and safety and well-being for the people in this county," said Otero County Commission Chairman Couy Griffin. "Otero County will also consider litigation in regards to the State of New Mexico failing to follow its constitutional duties towards the people of Otero County."
In February, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham ordered the removal of most of her state’s National Guard troops from border security assistance missions, Breitbart News reported. This action, combined with the ever-increasing surge of Central American migrants in the region, forced Border Patrol executives to shut down the checkpoints in order to move resources to the border for processing, caring for, and transporting the migrants. -Breitbart
"I reject the federal contention that there exists an overwhelming national security crisis at the southern border, along which are some of the safest communities in the country. However, I recognize and appreciate the legitimate concerns of residents and officials in southwestern New Mexico, particularly Hidalgo County, who have asked for our assistance, as migrants and asylum-seekers continue to appear at their doorstep," said Lujan Grisham.
As Breitbart's Price notes - Otero County officials appear to disagree - as their emergency declaration passed the commissioners court in a unanimous vote.