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Local shelter reports increase in migrants in valley following the end of Title 42

A local shelter is reporting increased migrants in the Coachella Valley following the end of Title 42. Officials said this increase is not overwhelming as was feared.

Local nonprofit Galilee Center has been helping migrants as they arrive. As CFO and co-founder of the center, Claudia Castorena has helped migrants with their paperwork. 

"We were expecting and preparing for the numbers to be dramatically increased. And we found out over the weekend the numbers did increase slightly," said Castorena. "We do expect that the numbers will continue increasing just for a period of time. That is just because the detention centers at the border are being oversaturated."

Related story: 'We do expect increases,' RIVCO prepares for impact of migrant influx as Title 42 policy ends

The Galilee Center expected anywhere between 300 to 400 migrants daily after Title 42 expired. However, it has been receiving around 200 instead. Every person is given food and shelter for up to 36 hours before heading to their next stop. 

"We don't anticipate a huge increase. But in any case, we are prepared," said Castorena.

Similarly, Riverside County also saw more migrants but less than what was planned for. Its numbers went from about nearly 60 migrants per day to now between 200 and 300 per day. Shane Reichardt with the county's emergency management department said their team is working to get migrants processed quickly. 

"We haven't seen a massive increase. But we've definitely seen some increases," said Reichardt. "It's definitely gotten busier; we haven't reached a breaking point. And some of that is a credit to the county team and our nonprofits; they're just working so hard behind the scenes to make sure that this is moving as smoothly as possible."

The county says it will continue to monitor the flow of migrants to the area closely. 

"We're in a wait-and-see to determine what real impact we may encounter here within Riverside County," said Reichardt.

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Marian Bouchot

Marian Bouchot is the weekend morning anchor and a reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. Learn more about Marian here.


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