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Community centers help with Cuban immigrants

groups.” after striking a deal with panama, el paso is seeing hundreds of cuban migrants crossing the border into el paso. the migrants were stranded in the central american country for at least a year and are stepping foot into the u-s for the first time. the el paso catholic diocese along with other local shelters are stepping up to help them. abc-7’s josie ortegon is live in south el paso… rick, estela. some of the migrants will likely come and go and stay at shelters like the houchen center for only a couple of hours, before moving on to their next destination. the fear from the diocese of el paso is not knowing what to expect: “we’re having to prepare for if you will, a worst-case scenario and then try and be ready when the realities unfold.” the reality of hundred of cuban migrants crossing the border into el paso. in a news conference wednesday, bishop mark seitz expressed concern because state and federal agencies haven’t communciated–putti ng a strain on local resources: “we’re not being tol who’s coming, when, we don’t know how many are planning to move through quickly, how many are planning to stay, there is zero communication.” but the migrants are here now, with more on the way. groups are being flown to juarez every day this week. local churches and shelters are rushing to set up and take them in. stand-up “inside the houchen community center, migrants are arriving every couple of minutes, checking in, setting up their beds and getting some rest. officials here tell us they’re looking for flights to places like miami and houston. while others, have nowhere to go from here.” “they’re simpl saying, well we heard of this place, we heard of denver, let’s try that.” th cuban refugees are a special case, once they’re screened, they’re released by customs and border protection for a year, when they can apply for u-s residency. they can receive work authorization and a monthly stipend of $445–but the diocese fears without adequate shelter or resources–it’s money that can only take them so far: “i doesn’t do them any good. to have this cash voucher if they don’t have any place to sleep at night.” seitz “thes resources may not be enough. one of the difficulties, here is we can’t really predict.” officials with the houchen community center tell me they have room for at least 560 migrants. they aren’t worried about having to close their doors yet, but say it has crossed their mind. if you’d like to donate, you can go to kvia dot com for more info.

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