WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security is planning to transport migrants awaiting immigration proceedings from U.S. cities along the southern border further into the interior of the country, beginning with Los Angeles in the coming weeks, according to internal documents obtained by NBC News.
The plan would alleviate overcrowding along the border where record high numbers of border crossers have overwhelmed the capacity of local shelters in some cities, at times leading Customs and Border Protection to release migrants on the street to fend for themselves. Besides Los Angeles, cities where they will be sent include Albuquerque, Houston and Dallas.
Typically, migrants who are allowed to stay in the country and make asylum claims are released to shelters run by religious and non-governmental organizations after they are released from CBP custody. From there, the migrants pay for flights and bus transportation to cities where they’ll go before immigration judges who will rule on their asylum claims.