- Associated Press - Thursday, April 18, 2019

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - The Latest on New Mexico’s response to the influx of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border (all times local):

2:55 p.m.

More than 700 migrants have been taken into custody in less than 24 hours along the border in southern New Mexico.

The U.S. Border Patrol says a group of 230 people was encountered at the Antelope Wells port of entry after midnight Tuesday. A second group of more than 360 people was reported minutes later just west of Mount Cristo Rey near Sunland Park.

Another group of more than 130 people later came through Antelope Wells.

Authorities say the El Paso sector, which includes part of West Texas and all of New Mexico, documented over 1,800 apprehensions on Tuesday.

The surge caught the attention of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico after a militia group posted a video of the migrants. The civil rights organization contends the group had no authority to ask the migrants to stop while Border Patrol was called


1:15 p.m.

Santa Fe officials are preparing to assist and temporarily house asylum-seekers passing through New Mexico after crossing the U.S-Mexico border.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reported Wednesday that Las Cruces officials are looking to work with Santa Fe and Albuquerque to take turns receiving busloads of immigrants.

Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber says most of the asylum-seekers are passing through the state to reach relatives or sponsors in other parts of the country.

U.S. immigration authorities began dropping off migrants in Las Cruces last week.

Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima says the city has assisted about 800 refugees, but its system is starting to get overwhelmed.

Webber says Santa Fe officials traveled to Las Cruces to get briefed on that city’s system for welcoming and processing asylum-seekers.


11:45 p.m.

New Mexico’s top emergency management official is scheduled to tour shelters for the homeless in the south of the state that are overflowing with international asylum seekers.

State Homeland Security and Emergency Management Secretary Jackie White announced plans Thursday to visit the Gospel Rescue Mission and Community of Hope facilities in Las Cruces and meet with Mayor Ken Miyagishima.

U.S. immigration authorities last week began dropping off hundreds of immigrants in need of temporary shelter as arrangements are made for them to reach relatives or other long-term sponsors.

The city of Las Cruces is spending $75,000 on humanitarian supplies and using a community center to provide overnight housing and meals to immigrants.

U.S. border officials say they are struggling to cope with an influx of Central American families.

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