ICE officials released over 500 members of the migrant caravan in downtown El Paso over the Christmas holiday. Local charities and non-profits were notified of the impending asylum seekers.
Per CBS News:
“One-hundred-eighty-six more migrants were released in downtown El Paso, Texas by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Christmas Day, reports the CBS affiliate there, KDBC-TV. That came after approximately 400 were released in the southwest Texas city in the two days before Christmas.
Day three of mass releases by ICE in #ElPaso. On this #Christmas day these three boys are enjoying some sweets. Their parents gave us permission to take their pictures. So far about 160 have been brought here. Waiting on another 40. pic.twitter.com/fAU1Lwo74n
— Claudia Tristán (@ClaudiaKFOX_CBS) December 25, 2018
“They’re coming from immigration cells so they’re coming hungry, they’re coming thirsty, most haven’t bathed in a long time. The situation is really difficult for them,” the leader of a local charity said.
Earlier this week ICE released a statement that claimed the release was to comply with federal guidelines that prevent them from being detained from their family longer than a set amount of time deemed legal.
Many thanks to volunteers & donors who ensure that we take care of families being released by ICE in El Paso. 200 to be released today. Over 500 tomorrow. Please make a donation that will go to food and beds here: https://t.co/062olx7YIp pic.twitter.com/IPpFXCtiR8
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) December 25, 2018
More, per CBS:
The immigrants released Tuesday by ICE were dropped off at a downtown El Paso bus station. Then, they were led by volunteers to a makeshift headquarters at Rock House Cafe and Gallery, a block away.
“This is what it is to give, this is what it is to receive people into your home and cherish time with other people,” said Michael Patino, owner of the facility.
“We made something for (the migrants) for breakfast. We went to buy some bread and my sister went to her closet to look for things that we could give away. We are here to give what we have,” Michelle Sanchez said.
One of the migrants said, “It’s unreal, like a dream. They gave us clothes, food, everything. I really didn’t expect this, thank you so much.”