EL PASO, TEXAS – A US national Islamic charity has sent a team to El Paso to provide free medical exams to migrants after the US government released more than 1,600 migrants on to the streets of the Texan city.
“Local groups of volunteers and migrant families were very thankful to ICNA Relief USA & Council of Social Justice team for coming out here all the way from Dallas and helping the stranded migrant families in dire need,” Dr. Aasia Khan, with the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), told KTSM.
The chaos began last Sunday night, when 214 people, all families, were released without the usual warning given by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) to Annunciation House.
Hundreds of people were then released on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Thursday.
The asylum seekers were released after arriving in the United States and making contact with US officials. Some have relatives or other contacts throughout the country who they plan to stay with while they await their immigration court dates to address their pending cases.
Advocacy groups said the mass release was “unprecedented”, as volunteers turned out in droves to bring food, water, and medicine to migrants stranded in the border city.
Taking its share, ICNA organized a mobile clinic at a South-Central El Paso shelter Saturday afternoon, treating 3 sick families so far, including an infant they sent to the emergency room.
“If there was no professional care, it would have turned out worse for him,” Dr Khan said.
“As we’ve heard in the past, many kids have not done well in these facilities without any medical care and…without the relief care that’s been provided to them, it would not have been a very good outcome for that infant.”
The charity is back on its way to Dallas but says the physician and other local volunteers will continue to help.
ICNA is one of the largest, non-profit, grassroots Muslim organizations in North America with many projects, programs, and activities designed to help in reforming society at large.
Since 1968, ICNA has worked to build relations between communities by devoting itself to education, outreach, social services and relief efforts.