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Judge’s order could have overcrowding implications at CBP facilities in El Paso

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- Late Thursday evening a Florida federal judge blocked the federal government from releasing migrants that have been processed.

The judge's orders went into effect when Title 42, the public emergency health order, expired.

The U.S. District Judge ordered the federal government to stop the release of migrants without court dates.

Many fear this could lead to migrants waiting longer in processing facilities.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas immediately spoke out against the ruling.

"It's a very harmful ruling and the Department of Justice is considering our options. You know, the practice that the court has prevented us from using is a practice that prior administrations have used to relieve overcrowding," he said.

In a 17-page order, the Florida federal judge said, "Aliens are being released into the country on an expedited basis without being placed in removal proceedings and with little to no vetting and no monitoring."

Secretary Mayorkas refuted that statement.

"What we do is we process, screen, and vet individuals, and if we do not hold them, we release them so that they can go into immigration enforcement proceedings, make whatever claim for relief they might and if they don't succeed, be removed."

Many warn the judge's temporary ruling could lead to a big strain on border communities.

According to El Paso City officials, there are currently 6,200 people in CBP custody in El Paso.

Additionally, there are on average close to 1,700 migrants encounters in the El Paso Sector daily.

Currently, there are 27,000 people in U.S. Customs and Border Protection Custody throughout the county.

In a statement Thursday, CBP officials said, "This is a harmful ruling that will result in unsafe overcrowding at CBP facilities and undercut our ability to efficiently process and remove migrants, and risks creating dangerous conditions for border patrol agents and migrants."

Officials said individuals who are apprehended by CBP are vetted thoroughly.

When ABC-7 asked CBP officials about the policies regarding holding migrants in their facilities a spokesperson said, "The agency is not releasing official processing information nor local nor nationwide at the moment."

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Rosemary Montañez

ABC-7 reporter and weekend anchor


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