The city of El Paso has launched a new migrant data dashboard that gives a glimpse into the extraordinary numbers the border city is seeing as part of the ongoing migrant crisis racking the southwest border.
The Migrant Situational Awareness Dashboard, available on the city’s website, offers a breakdown of the massive numbers being encountered and released into the community.
According to the data, the numbers went from less than 1,700 releases per week into the community during the summer to over 6,800 last week. The number of migrants in CBP custody has also jumped from fewer than 3,000 a few weeks ago to over 4,500.
The data show that there are over 1,000 being released into the community each day on average, while the city is providing over 900 meals a day to hungry migrants.
For months, El Paso has been sounding the alarm about the migrant surge it is facing. Images have shown migrants, including many from Venezuela, camped out on the streets as shelters and facilities have been overwhelmed.
Meanwhile, the city, which has a Democratic mayor, has been busing migrants to New York City and Chicago, although it has avoided the criticism that has been leveled at Republican Gov. Greg Abbott for doing the same.
Mayor Oscar Leeser has stressed that the city is still taking care of migrants in its care: ‘We put human beings on buses with food and make sure they get to their destination and make sure that we always continue to treat people like human beings,’ he said.
He also told ABC News that one difference with the migrants arriving in El Paso is that many of those from Venezuela do not have sponsors in the U.S. who can help them, and have no money.
‘We have about 50 percent of the people today that do not have a sponsor, they do not have money, so we’re helping and working to get them to where they want to go,’ the mayor said.
According to the dashboard, it has bused nearly 13,000 migrants to the two self-described ‘sanctuary’ cities. It has sent 2,925 to Chicago and 9,855 to the Big Apple so far this year.
El Paso is one of a number of border towns and cities that have been overwhelmed by the crisis. The border has seen over 200,000 migrant encounters per month, and more than 2.1 million this fiscal year.
This week, the Biden administration, which has faced enormous political pressure over the nearly two-year crisis, announced a combined border operation with Mexico. That operation involves increased checkpoints and more resources to handle the migrant surge.
It will also see Venezuelan nationals returned to Mexico under the Title 42 public health order. Venezuelans had not been returned under the order until this week.
Simultaneously, the Biden administration announced a humanitarian parole program that would allow up to 24,000 Venezuelans to fly to the U.S. if they had a sponsor and fulfilled other conditions.