How will the surge of migrants impact Albuquerque?

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The wave of migrants through Central America is crashing over the border, though it’s not expected to crest until after pandemic immigration laws go away Thursday night.

So how does Albuquerque fit into the picture? It’s a jumping off point for migrants who have been cleared to head to a different part of the country where their sponsor or point of contact lives.

KOB 4 talked with the Border Servant Corp Thursday, which is a group in Las Cruces that’s focused on getting migrants to the places they are officially cleared to go – that’s a place with an immigration hearing office relatively close by.

Migrants typically have a month or two to report to that office or risk losing their status and face possible deportation. So, they need a ticket. These days, that’s often a plane ticket and that’s where Albuquerque comes in.

El Paso is a big city with a relatively small airport. Places like Border Servant Corps help migrants find their ticket – migrants in almost all cases buy it themselves – and Albuquerque right now isn’t so much a stop as a transit center.

“We will send folks who are pre-ticketed to depart same-day to the Albuquerque airport,” said Kari Lenander with Border Servant Corps. “They’ll be met by an NGO in Albuquerque. They’ll depart that day to their final destination, and it’s really helpful because Albuquerque will have other flight options, sometimes other price options.”

The City of Albuquerque is in contact with these groups who are effectively standing in for the U.S. government as it deals with the rush of migrants, so they know, more or less, how many people are passing through.