Major cities across the U.S. are bracing themselves to accommodate a possible surge of more than 150,000 asylum seekers in the coming months.
The expected surge from mostly El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, comes amid an uptick in apprehensions last month that put a strain on border patrol and nonprofit shelters near the U.S.-Mexico border.
To relieve these shelters, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has been scouting major cities from Phoenix to Atlanta as potential locations to build these shelters, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said he had informed HHS Regional Director Fred Schuster that Dallas is “ready, willing and able to help out these kids.”
Other cities that have been scouted for “potential future use as state-licensed permanent shelter locations for unaccompanied alien children” are Fort Worth, San Antonio, the paper reported, citing an HHS spokesman. According to an analysis of official data published by the CATO Institute this week, the number of arrests made by Border Patrol in 2019 is at a twelve-year high
Some 268,044 individuals have been apprehended on the Southwest border from the beginning of the year through the end of February. Experts cited by the Dallas Morning News said the rise in apprehensions could exceed 150,000 in the months ahead.
Fox News' Hollie McKay contributed to this report.