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The number of migrant encounters in El Paso has gone down, but does that mean the region is coming off of a surge?

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- Migrant releases into El Paso by Customs and Border Protection have gone down over the last week, according to the city's Migrant Situational Awareness Dashboard.

The dashboard shows that, as of Sunday evening, almost 7,900 migrants were released into El Paso by CBP in the 40th week of 2023, compared to just over 9,000 the week prior.

While numbers appear to be going down, they are still relatively high compared to periods of 2023 where El Paso was not experiencing a migrant surge. And officials said fewer numbers does not necessarily mean the current surge is coming to an end.

"I still think we're gonna see a flow, but I can see where folks may indicate that, okay, well, maybe we've crested and at this point we're coming off of that third wave that we've talked about. Let's just say that we're hopeful that that is the case, but I don't think we have enough information to be able to make that determination yet," said John Martin, Deputy Director at the Opportunity Center for the Homeless.

Still, Martin said the center has seen a decrease in the amount of migrants staying in its shelters. He said that while the decline in CBP encounters is likely a contributing factor to that decrease, it is not the only reason.

"I think the predominant reason that we're seeing the numbers overall go down are the number of buses that are leaving from the community on a daily basis," said Martin.

Martin told ABC-7 he's seen somewhere around 150 migrants waiting to board buses leaving El Paso on a given day.

Despite the decrease, Martin said there is still a need.

"The needs are still there and the needs are going to change from day to day. For example, this evening, do I get a lot of families in with very young children, toddlers or infants?" he said. "The needs are pretty consistent as well. We're looking at blankets, we're looking at towels, we're looking at clothing, you're looking at toiletries."

If you would like to donate to the center, you can do so by visiting their website.

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Kerry Mannix


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