- Associated Press - Friday, March 15, 2019

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - The Latest on migrants being housed in New Mexico (all times local):

5:35 p.m.

Between 200 and 300 migrants are expected to be bused to New Mexico’s largest city over the weekend as shelters closer to the U.S.-Mexico border fill up.

Officials with the city of Albuquerque provided the latest estimate Friday.

Shelters in El Paso, Texas, are running out of room as more people cross the border. That has resulted in asylum-seeking migrants being housed at faith-based shelters in the Las Cruces area and now at hotels in Albuquerque moving on to stay with family or sponsors as they await formal hearings.

Officials with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection El Paso sector, which includes New Mexico, has been processing an average of 500 people a day.

Numbers released by the agency last week show the apprehensions of family groups in the sector have increased exponentially compared to the same period last year.

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9:52 a.m.

The top federal prosecutor in New Mexico says his office is making a concentrated effort to investigate and prosecute organizations involved in human trafficking.

U.S. Attorney John C. Anderson tells the Albuquerque Journal that authorities are looking at smugglers and those who are taking advantage of asylum seekers.

He said New Mexico is transit point for people entering the country illegally or through the asylum process. That includes large groups of Central Americans and others being taken into custody at remote spots such as Antelope Wells or areas near Deming.

The El Paso sector - which includes New Mexico - saw thousands of asylum seekers just in February. Shelters in the area have run out of space, leaving hundreds of the migrants to be bused to Las Cruces and Albuquerque.

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Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com

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