MIAMI (AP) — A surge of asylum-seeking families has been straining cities along the southern U.S. border for months, but now the issue is flowing into cities far from Mexico, where immigrants are being housed in an airplane hangar and rodeo fairgrounds and local authorities are struggling to keep up with the influx.
U.S. immigration officials have eyed spots in states like Florida, Michigan and New York, to help process the migrants before they move on to their destination, which could be anywhere in the U.S.
And in border states, cities that are several hours’ drive from Mexico are already seeing sometimes hundreds of migrants a day.
The situation is leaving local authorities and nonprofits with the task of providing shelter for a night or two, a few meals and travel assistance to help migrants reach their final destinations across the U.S.
The issue erupted in political intrigue last week when Democratic strongholds in Florida balked at plans to send migrants to their counties, conjuring images of homeless migrants on the streets.
But elsewhere, cities and states are quietly making arrangements. New Mexico and Colorado reached agreement to drop off some migrants in Denver. A remote desert town in California has helped hundreds reach shelters for short-term stays.
Image Credit: DC Whispers