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Dallas, Denver provide relief for Deming as the city copes with migrant influx

Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal

Dallas and Denver are providing relief for Deming by taking buses full of migrant families on a regular basis.

The city of Deming declared a state of emergency after Border Patrol began dropping off hundreds of migrant parents and children in mid-May.

“The daily release of refugees, that at times can number as many as 250 refugees, poses an immense challenge for a small city like Deming that is 115 miles from the nearest airport and where bus transportation is exceedingly limited,” according to a news release from Annunciation House.

The El Paso-based organization, with funding from the Santa Fe Foundation, is chartering buses from Deming to Dallas and Denver. Those cities have major airports and multiple bus routes, so migrants seeking asylum can travel to stay with relatives or sponsors while they wait for their cases to move through immigration court. The first bus bound for Dallas departed Saturday with 57 migrant parents and children on board.

“The whole process is to get people to their sponsors and give them care and comfort on the way,” said Kyle Ogden, president and CEO of the Thanks-Giving Foundation in Dallas.

The organization is spearheading the “Dallas Responds” volunteer effort to provide care for migrants and relief for Deming. Oak Lawn Methodist Church in Dallas welcomed the first group of Central American parents and children from Deming on Saturday night. A second bus is expected Wednesday, according to Ogden.

“It’s the right thing to do,”he said.

Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Square, a coalition of faith leaders, is helping coordinate the response.

“They’re very compassionate, especially for those who are behind in their journey in life,” Ogden said.

Annunciation House is calling on Border Patrol to stop releasing migrant families into “smaller cities like Deming and Las Cruces and instead transport the refugees to larger cities like El Paso, Denver and Dallas.”

Deming city officials were not available to comment over the weekend.