EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- Like past migrant surges, El Pasoans are seeing hundreds, if not thousands of migrants living on the streets throughout their community. But this time, migrants are living in public areas like San Jacinto Plaza in Downtown El Paso.
While dozens of families with children were seen at the plaza Sunday, the entire group consisted primarily of single Venezuelan men.
ABC-7 spoke with several migrants to understand why they're choosing the city's popular tourist attraction, instead of shelters.
One man from Venezuela named Jefferson Camchez said he is staying at San Jacinto because the shelters are prioritizing families with children, and since he doesn't have kids, he has been living on the streets.
He also said that there's more help at the park from people around El Paso -- who bring food, water, and other necessities -- than at the shelters.
Another Venezuelan man was staying at the plaza with his brother, wife, and kids.
Eduardo said they went to a shelter, but left. He said once you walk out the door, you cannot get back in. Now, he said his children are cold on the streets, but he is grateful that people in the United States seem to care more about the children and their safety than other countries they had to pass through trying to get here.
In the hours that ABC-7 spent at the plaza Sunday, we noticed that essentially everyone there was part of the migrant population, and that El Pasoans were avoiding the area.
"It's heartbreaking to see all the migrants asking for money, asking for food," said one anonymous El Pasoan. "I don't know that this situation is gonna get better anytime soon."