The populations of the new families also affect the communities around the borders. For example, in El Paso, where the majority of families are processed after their asylum application is submitted, a voluntary network that temporarily places immigrants after imprisonment should expand to 20 facilities, while only the same in the three periods. Immigrants are now handed over to churches, nursing homes, and some 125 hotel rooms.
"We have never seen such numbers," said Ruben Garcia, director of the organization, at the House of the Annunciation. He said that in February one week, the immigration authorities issued more than 3,600 immigrants into the organization, the highest number since 1978.
Mr Garcia mostly said that his colleagues and volunteers were able to keep up with the sudden action, often urging the churches to request more space for families in a short time. But sometimes they also supported their best efforts, said one day last week, when the authorities left 150 more immigrants than originally planned.
"We just didn't have a place," said Mr. Garcia.
Border Patrol officials said that the largest "pull factors" to encourage migrant families to make their way to the United States were federal laws and court agreements that prohibit authorities from central Americans deporting without long processing, and detaining migrant families more than 20 days after which they must be admitted to the country pending an immigration court procedure. Others in the agency have drawn attention to severe poverty and food insecurity in the western highlands of Guatemala, where many families come from, as their primary motivation.
As of March 3, 237,327 migrants were captured along the southwestern border as the fiscal year began in October, an increase of 97 percent compared to the previous year.
Larger areas of the borders and their remote areas have received increasing attention to the long-term problems provided by the Customs and Border Protection Service. Immigrant families need urgent medical care, the agency said they forced resources and agents out of their law enforcement tasks.