Homeless shelters reach “breaking point”

Homeless shelters are filled with many migrants and are running out of space for the amount that is still coming to Texas

On Sept.14, 2022, many of the Texas homeless shelters near the border stated that they were at a “breaking point” after President Joe Biden released hundreds of illegal migrants onto the street. Many shelters have reached exceeding capacity as a result. 

The Biden administration was mandated to officially replace the Trump administration, which restricted asylum-seekers from crossing the border. Thousands of asylum applicants were forced by the program to stay in Mexico while their cases were heard in American courts.

Cities have been overrun by an inflow of migrants since April, and homeless-shelter services are at capacity. They have begged the federal government to assist in finding and creating housing for immigrants. In an effort to put pressure on the Biden administration to tighten border controls, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has sent recently arrived asylum-seekers to Democratic cities on the East Coast that are immigrant-friendly.

“I hope he [Biden] follows through on his promise of welcoming all migrants with open arms so that our overrun and overwhelmed border towns can find relief,” Abbott stated.

As of September 14th, homeless shelters and local authorities have strained to keep up, as the U.S. Border patrol released a thousand migrants onto the streets at the U.S.-Mexico border. The number of buses increased from two to four a day to as many as eight, which has exhausted donations and filled the available space in addition to many volunteers contracting COVID. Venezuelan migrants frequently arrive without money and without a place to stay, in contrast to those from Mexico and Central America who have relatives and friends. Due to their lack of family or resources, migrants have overrun charitable organizations and volunteer groups, leading many to wind up in homeless shelters or on park benches.

When compared to previous years, El Paso has seen a marked increase in migrant interactions. El Paso has had an additional rise of more than a thousand daily migrant interactions since the beginning of September.

“I have one small shelter out of five that currently has over 110 individuals in, so, it has forced us to actually say no to some of those folk in need,” deputy director of a nonprofit Texas homeless shelter, John Martin said.

While migrants in El Paso lack a place to sleep and struggle to make ends meet, the Biden administration claims to be providing resources to the city.

Due to the recent influx of numerous Venezuelans who cannot be deported under Title 42 since Mexico will not take them and their own government does not have a deal with the US to accept deportation plans, the problem has become urgent. Texas homeless shelters are unable to plan ahead for when and how many migrants to arrive since they are unaware of these details.