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El Paso prepares for possible migrant influx as rules for asylum seekers change come Friday

EL PASO, Texas -- The Biden Administration is set to allow asylum seekers currently stuck in Mexico to cross the border. As a result, El Paso city officials are preparing shelters and transportation for a possible influx during the pandemic.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security says the immigration changes will start being phased-in on Friday.

City officials said Wednesday they were putting protocols in place to help the community avoid a Covid-19 outbreak as migrants make their way across the border.

"We are looking at it very closely and ensuring that we have the protections, not only for the volunteers, but ensuring those congregate settings are going to have the resources they need," said El Paso Deputy Fire Chief Jorge Rodriguez, who coordinate the Office of Emergency Management.

The city plans to provide shelters and hospitality centers with personal protective equipment and rapid Covid tests.

Under the immigration policy change, asylum seekers must pass a rapid Covid test in Mexico before they are taken to a shelter in El Paso. If an individual becomes infected while at a shelter, the city has developed a plan.

"In those cases we would be able to utilize our existing quarantine isolation protocol where we utilize hotels just like we do for the homeless centers," Rodriguez explained.

The city said it is also working with the Greyhound bus system to ensure there is transportation to meets the need of the asylum seekers.

City officials said they remain confident they will be able to handle the migrants because it is not expected there will be too many crossings at the start. Only migrants that fall under the current Migrant Protection Protocol are eligible to cross the border.

"The program is going to start very slow and those numbers are going to be quite low and manageable for the community," Rodriguez said.

There are currently 25,000 asylum seekers in Mexico with active cases that are eligible to come across the border into the U.S.

The city said it does not know exactly when the migrants will begin crossing into El Paso or how many will be expected to cross each day.

El Paso / News / Top Stories / Video

Dylan McKim



  1. We just had 861000 NEW jobless claims this week. People can’t work and pay their own bills. How are we going to pay for this? And what are these people going to fo for work?

  2. Brace for shock. Here they come. So maybe someone can help me out here, help me to understand. Based on comments here and elsewhere about the Southern border and illegal immigration I have to wonder why Mexicans/Hispanics seem to embrace illegal immigration and an open border with open arms. Why is that? What do tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of low or no skilled entrants from South of the border do for our country? My next question then is are you Americans? Or Mexicans? If Americans, than why all the gushing, effusive support for illegals and open borders? Don’t we and your country come first? Are you this supportive of all immigrants? Or just Hispanics? Do you support open borders and open arms for hundreds of thousands of Asians, East Europeans, and Muslims? Sorry, I just don’t get it. I’m of European origin but I certainly don’t advocate and support open immigration for Europeans. Want to immigrate to the U.S.? Great, stand in line and wait your turn. So, who’s gonna ignore my questions, not provide an answer, and be the first to play the race card, call me a racist?

    1. El Paso Mark…You are not a racist for asking! I am an American (1st generation) with parents from Mexico. I do not support illegal immigration. So I guess i’ll be called an “honorary Racist” today but from the way this word is being thrown around – I give zero FFFFs. Have lived her for over 45 years. Have seen when illegals would run across the border highway back in the 80’s. Have worked with organizations that help individuals apply for legal entry. Have dealt with “those in the criminal justice system.” I have seen family and friends “hire the senora to clean the house” or take care of “tio.” I have spoken to illegals and encouraged them to do it the right way. You’d be suprised how many only want to “make money to send back to family” – with plans to return home one day. Many employers rather hire illegals to avoid paying igher wages, taxes, or health insurance (that’s exploitation).

      There is a belief that all “Hispanics” support illegal immigration. It’s a unique situation – that at times shifts with the political atmosphere {Hey! I’m from Oregon, I know what happens in El Paso Texas! Let them all in! *sipping my mocha soy latte*). I believe in America FIRST. I believe the walls should reach the heavens. I have been at various borders including smaller entries such as in Douglas Arizona. People here have no idea how different it is. NO ONE should come in illegally but instead follow the correct path. It’s very easy to say “let them in” when they are not sponsoring, supporting, or believe they are not affected with such influxes. Others believe only “Hispanics” come over and have no idea that other groups infiltrate the borders (Asians, South Americans, Gypsies, Africans, Central Americans etc) in a very organized and well funded manner. If people are fleeing their country (ie. Central American) there other ways to seek Asylum (which for the most part will not apply since they are looking for jobs). But they will not because their family members are already waiting for them here in the US. Othes have very organized networks (ie. gypsies) that they use to circumvent deportation and simply get lost in the system. You are correct, the majority are low or no skilled.

      You know, i have friends and family in Mexico and they often tell me how much they love their country (Mexico). Just a shitty situation ya know? But how often do you see the “welcome crew” here protest what is occurring in Mexico? In Central America? In the Congo? In the Middle East? How many will join organziations to help other countries? How many will head over the border to help let’s say the missing women? Don’t get me wrong there are wonderful groups that help kids, families, dogos accross the border and in other countries but the keyboard SJWs? Pffttt yeah, no. They sit back …post here and call you a racist because yeah. But if the US is so racist – I guess no one has told the illegal aliens coming through huh?


      NO -I do not support Illegal immigration 🙂

  3. How is processing asylum claims causing Americans to not be first? If they are allowed in under our current asylum laws, they won’t be illegal, will they? They will find work just as immigrants have done since the 1800’s. They’ll do the work we refuse to do ourselves just as they always have. The “wait in line” you racists love to tout is not practical and as long as there is an unchanged wait in line policy, we will continue to have illegal immigration. We are a nation of immigrants. If you cannot understand this or you refuse to acknowledge it, then maybe you should move back to Europe. These new immigrants and their children will become an asset to the nation a immigrants always have.

    1. We are “NOW” A NATION OF IDIOT GOVERNMENT! With BUMBLING JERK-OFF joe as the FACE and SIGNATURE of a regime who CARES NOT of the AMERICAN PEOPLE! bIDIOTS you can call them!!!

    2. Charlie I understand what you are saying however immeigration from 100 years ago is very different now. I believe immgration from that turn of the century high scrutizined who was allowed entry – and despite being “low skilled” the industry of that area called for this type of worker.

      Also Charlie – our country is not “empty” as it may have been in the 1800’s – population numbers have shifted. Look up Asylum cases and the percentage that have been approved.

      Yes we are a Nation of Immigrants – however Saying to wait in line is not racist – its procedure.
      you said it yourself -” is not practical and as long as there is an unchanged wait in line policy, we will continue to have illegal immigration” so maybe you can direct your frustration at the current laws and be part of the solution.

    3. number one, most of the asylum claims are bogus, number two international asylum claims are to be to the first available country you come to. number three theres not enough jobs in america as it is. number four this will cause our taxes to go up to support these people that we owe nothing to. number five these people arent being tested for corona or any other disease while we as americans cant even get on a plane or walk into a store without wearing a mask. number six not all people crossing our border are upstand people, there will be gangs drugs and all kinds of other trash coming with them. should i go on?

  4. And we have a winner! Charlie whoever you are plays the race card. I knew it wouldn’t be long. Are you that turner guy?

    Now, for TexasBee, et al- Yes, I’m sorry, I’m guilty of making a generalized statement. That wasn’t my intent. I know for a fact not all Hispanics support open borders/illegal immigration. My co-workers are all pretty conservative, and I know there’s a conservative Hispanic faction in El Paso. Old school, not the fresas. I know for a fact a lot (Most) just want to earn a living and support their families, so I am not so callous and insensitive to the plight of the illegals. Agree, shitty situation. But if their country is so bad maybe they need to fix it, eh? We can’t fix the worlds problems or take in the entire world. America is full, or nearly so. The situation is different today than it was 100 or 150 years ago. Maybe we need to go back to a bracero-type program.
    And again for Charlie-whoever, the “Asylum” flag you wave is a horrific scam perpetrated on us/the system. As is the other scam “Credible fear.” Our rules and laws were not meant to be used as weapons against us. Want to claim asylum or credible fear? Sure, no problem, here’s your number, go back to where you came from and we’ll call you. You don’t get to flood the country and disappear forever.

    1. Mark T. always thinks we Hispanics need his support. We see right thru all that phony racist self-serving BS. Like him or any politician do anything but talk. I wish they would take their racism and stop pretending we need them.

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