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Annunciation House full as ICE releases more than 200 migrants before Christmas

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, dropped 211 migrants off at the Greyhound Bus station around 6 p.m. Sunday night.

The 211 migrants are of all ages, with babies, children and adults being released.

“They just left us about three blocks that way. They dropped us off and told us to cross the street and to come sleep outside the bus station, that we shouldn’t bother the people inside because there would be problems. They said we wouldn’t be allowed inside , but that we should ask outside if they would let us stay so we could call our families tomorrow to buy bus tickets,” said one migrant who traveled from Guatemala.

Volunteers circulated cellphones so the migrants could call their US sponsors.

Some were able to buy tickets and travel to their sponsors as they await asylum hearings, but many are staying in El Paso.

With growing numbers of migrants being released each day the Annunciation House has reached capacity. With Annunciation House full, many are staying in hotels, schools and hospitality centers, opened as emergency shelters. Annunciation House is paying for the shelter.

“This is like disaster relief. This is like a hurricane that ICE has dropped on us. It’s hard enough when there’s already a shelter and there’s already food and phones and things like that, and a system in place. But right now we have to create the system out of scratch,” said Alan Dicker, one of the volunteers helping the migrants.

El Paso police and Sun Metro helped provide transportation to the shelters.

ICE provided the migrants with release forms and court dates for asylum hearings before dropping them off at the Greyhound station.

Annunciation House says they do not need monetary donations at this time, but volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, you can visit their website or email refugees@annunciationhouse.org

KVIA ABC-7

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