Plane lands in El Paso carrying more undocumented immigrants

By Luis Carlos Lopez / El Paso Times POSTED: 07/09/2014 08:43:12 PM MDT
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Cots are laid out in the gymnasium at Tobin Park United... (Rudy Gutierrez - El Paso Times )

Another plane carrying an undisclosed number of undocumented immigrants from Central America landed in El Paso on Wednesday, a Border Patrol official said.

The official, who spoke on background, said that Border Patrol has been getting "family groups" and processing them before turning them over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Border Patrol officials have said previously that flights will continue to land in El Paso, but that the number of flights and arrivals is information they are not authorized to disclose.

Ruben Garcia, executive director of the Annunciation House, confirmed that a plane landed in El Paso on Wednesday, but stressed that he didn't know how immigration officials would handle the new arrivals.

"I don't know how they decide to release people," Garcia said.

Garcia added that he didn't know whether the undocumented immigrants would be released to local shelters or whether they would be sent to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia, New Mexico.

On Wednesday, Tobin Park United Methodist Church in El Paso received 10,500 pounds of food from El Pasoans Fighting Hunger.

The donation was in anticipation of the immigrants' arrival, said Janie Sinclair, executive director of El Pasoans Fighting Hunger.

The church also has set up cots in its gymnasium.

Tobin Park Methodist Church is part of Annunciation House's network of churches and organizations that have helped accommodate some of the undocumented immigrants who have been caught entering the South Texas border and transferred to El Paso.

Annunciation House has provided shelter, food and helped with transportation, as many undocumented immigrants travel elsewhere while they await their deportation hearing.

Annunciation House will host a 10 a.m. news conference on Thursday to provide an update on the continued arrival of undocumented immigrants to El Paso.

Luis Carlos Lopez may be reached at 546-6381.

Times photographer Rudy Gutierrez contributed to this report.