DEMING – Vehicles pertaining to various organizations throughout southern New Mexico are streaming in and out of the Southwestern New Mexico State Fairgrounds parking lot to tend to incoming immigrants seeking asylum.
A joint press release issued by Deming City and Luna County officials was sent Saturday afternoon alerting media that the El Paso Sector of the United States Border Patrol – that oversees the Deming Border Patrol Station – was pending to drop-off immigrants in the area.
According to City Administrator Aaron Sera, immigrants were going to be dropped off at the McDonald’s located at 721 W. Pine St.
“So, we talked about it – between the city and the county – and said do we want them running around the streets or should we figure out a place to put them in,” said Sera.
Both parties concluded that building one of the fairgrounds was going to be used as a temporary shelter that would house 100 immigrants at a time.
Since the decision, Deming Police Department, Luna County Sheriff’s Office, Deming Code Enforcement, and an assortment of local churches and organizations from both Deming and Las Cruces has been in service addressing the situation.
It has been indicated that most of the immigrants are family units.
“Every one of them has a sponsor. They just don’t have contacts or means to contact their sponsors to purchase their tickets,” said Sera. “Saint Ann’s church is volunteering to do that. They’re processing all that, getting them tickets and getting them shipped out of here as fast as we can get them out.”
Sera said many of the immigrants have been leaving for California, while others have left for states like Alabama and Louisiana.
As of Monday, there were currently about 80 immigrants – half of them being children – at the temporary shelter. Sera told the Deming Headlight that Border Patrol is talking about releasing more immigrants but expressed again that the fairgrounds building can only occupy 100 people at a time.
Xchelzin Pena may be reached at 575-305-5532 or at email@example.com.
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