According to 13 recently-arrived migrants who shared documents with The Associated Press, U.S. Border Patrol agents are sending migrants to office buildings that get no advanced notice of their arrival. Most of the migrants had no idea where they were going.
Addresses on documents shown to AP included administrative offices of Catholic Charities in New York and San Antonio; an El Paso, Texas, church; a private home in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts and a group operating homeless shelters in Salt Lake City. A Venezuelan family that came to the American Red Cross administrative offices in Denver was referred to multiple shelters before someone volunteered to take them in.
“I don’t understand why Border Patrol would do something like this, they have been told that the addresses that they’re writing on paperwork is false information,” Colorado Housing Asylum Network Executive Director Denise Chang said. “We have requested to coordinate with Border Patrol, so that we can receive people properly and that has not been done, either.”
According to AP, Customs and Border Protection, which oversees the Border Patrol, did not respond to repeated questions about the migrants interviewed and the addresses of the buildings assigned to them. The report comes as a surge in migration from Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua brought the number of illegal crossings to the highest level ever recorded in a fiscal year. The buildings that the migrants get sent to often don’t have space to house migrants.
“I worry that there’s going to be more people and that they’re going to be coming faster than I can make arrangements for,” Chang said. “I’m hoping that the organizations will step up and say, ‘We’re going to do it all…’ just tell me, somebody.”