LAS CRUCES, New Mexico- Despite recent increase in asylum seekers at the border, El Calvario United Methodist Church continues preparations to increase its capacity number before Title 42 is possibly lifted.
The shelter's assistan director, Nayeli Saenz, told ABC-7 they are currently taking in 100 migrants per week. They usually receive 50 on Monday and an additional 50 on Wednesday and all are gone by Sunday.
"ICE brings them to our door, it's people who have already been processed by them, and we take them in," Saenz explained. "We give them a place to stay the night, warm food, clean clothes, where to shower and we connect them with their sponsors."
Saenz said they get in touch with the sponsors, who most of the time are family members. They tell them the process to purchase plane tickets from the El Paso Airport and then they drive the refugees there to catch their flights.
Shelter officials are in the middle of talks to prepare for the possible lifting of Title 42 on May 23, Saenz said they expect the number of migrants arriving at the border to rise considerably. Their biggest topic is: how to increase their capacity at the shelter?
"Because it's important for us to help as many as we can," Saenz said, "and not just our shelter, all shelters across the border are talking about how can we increase our capacities, and you know it's a struggle as it is."
According to Saenz, they lost a lot of volunteers due to Covid-19. Right now, the shelter is in dire of extra hands, as well as food and clothes donations of any kind, health and personal care supplies and baby products.
Families come with members of all ages, and some come with future additions. This week a pregnant Haitian woman started getting contractions at four in the morning in the shelter.
"I am so happy that we were able to assist them to have the baby healthy," Saenz told ABC 7, "instead of having him been born in a detention center or somewhere where it's unsafe for this baby. At the end of the day, it is a miracle, any child that is born."
Staff members called 911 that morning. An ambulance was dispatched to assist the woman with the delivery in the shelter's parking lot.
The woman is currently in a hospital in Las Cruces with her baby and her husband is waiting for them at the shelter. Once the family is back together, they will take a flight out-of-state to reunite with their family members who live in the United States.
Saenz also mentioned volunteers who speak other languages other than Spanish, like; Haitian, Russian, Turkish, or any other language, are of great help at the shelter.
"Volunteers make the difference here," Saenz added, "even if you just come two, three hours, you're helping us out to jump on other tasks."