EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – Despite a huge drop in migrant apprehensions, the El Paso Sector of the U.S. Border Patrol has added a new large-scale processing facility.
Sector Border Patrol Chief Scott Good on Tuesday shared a video of the new tent facility in Northeast El Paso. It is 360,000 square feet, sits on 28 acres off U.S. Highway 54 and can accommodate up to 2,500 migrants.
“El Paso Sector continues to prepare for potential increases in migrant encounters with the recent addition of our newest processing facility,” Good tweeted on Tuesday.
The facility has 24-hour onsite contracted security, and childcare, food and medical services, according to Border Patrol.
In January, U.S. Customs and Border Protection opened a processing facility in the same general area capable of holding up to 1,000 migrants for processing. That facility was meant to alleviate overcrowding at the Central Processing Center near Hondo Pass Drive, also in Northeast El Paso.
But migrant encounters have dropped dramatically since then. So has the number of migrants in CBP custody awaiting processing.
Daily migrant apprehensions have fallen from 1,522 five weeks ago to 532 now, and the number of migrants in CBP custody is down from 5,554 to 1,145 in the same period, according to the City of El Paso’s Migrant Dashboard, which reflects CBP data.
Nonetheless, migrant advocates in El Paso hope the increase in Border Patrol holding capacity will speed up processing of asylum seekers.
“Anytime the us expands its capacity to process people faster and hopefully more humanely, that’s always a good thing,” said Imelda Maynard, director of legal services at Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services. “Our hope would be that it increases capacity so you can have more CBP One appointments a day and process people faster.”