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McAllen responds to migrant surge with temporary emergency shelters

2 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago Wednesday, August 04 2021 Aug 4, 2021 August 04, 2021 11:48 AM August 04, 2021 in News - Local

In response to overcrowding at the Catholic Charities Respite Center, the city of McAllen announced a temporary emergency shelter to house the “overwhelming number of immigrants stranded in McAllen by U.S. Customs and Border Protection” the city stated in a news release.

The McAllen city commission approved the shelter following a Monday Declaration of Local Disaster issued by McAllen Mayor Javier Villalobos, the release stated.

The shelter was located on property owned by the city on 23rd Street near Buddy Owens Wednesday morning.

By the afternoon, however, the city of McAllen announced they were relocating the shelter "near CBP operations."

RELATED: McAllen, Hidalgo County declare states of disaster due to COVID-19 concerns from increase of migrants  

Channel 5 News saw a tent facility along with a couple port-a-potties, four bigger tents, lights and McAllen city crews at the location.

McAllen City commissioner Omar Quintanilla said the city had to take action quickly because of the more than 1,900 migrants being processed in McAllen.

Commissioners say the purpose of the shelter is to keep migrants in one safe location for processing before they move on to the next part of their journey. 

“The City Commission also instructed City staff to demand relief from the federal government for the alarming number of immigrants that are being released into the city of McAllen,” the city said in a statement. “The Commission further instructed staff to assist local non-governmental organizations to swiftly expand their operations, including identifying additional locations for emergency shelter should the need arise.”

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