EL PASO, Texas — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Wednesday announced it is opening a "soft-sided" facility in El Paso.
The purpose of the facility is to "safely and expeditiously process individuals in U.S. Border Patrol custody," according to a release from CBP.
With room for 1,000 people, the new facility will reportedly augment the agency's central processing center opened at Hondo Pass in El Paso in 2020. The city was chosen as the location for the facility because of the border patrol sector's stations throughout West Texas and New Mexico.
The announcement from CBP comes shortly after President Joe Biden's visit to the border city. Biden's office said he would "assess border enforcement operations and meet with local elected officials and community leaders who have been important partners in managing the historic number of migrants fleeing political oppression and gang violence."
In El Paso, President Biden toured the Bridge of the Americas port of entry — which connects El Paso to Ciudad Juárez for tourists and commercial trade. The president also visited the El Paso County Migrant Services Center. President Biden was joined by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and lawmakers.
Gov. Greg Abbott was also there, greeting the president on the tarmac and handing him a letter. Abbott's letter claimed President Biden's border policies led to the influx of migrants and demanded the president take stricter action at the U.S-Mexico border.
On Jan. 5, President Biden announced new border rules. He said the U.S. would start turning away people migrating from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela who cross the border without documentation.
Instead, the U.S. would allow 30,000 migrants from those four countries per month as long as they apply from their home country and have someone in the U.S. to economically support them. Those who enter under the new conditions will be allowed to enter and work legally for up to two years.
The Texas Tribune contributed to this report.