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Las Cruces church set to house women and children as early as Wednesday

LAS CRUCES, N.M. The rise of Central American immigrants crossing the border illegally has created an overflow in El Paso.  Now some of those immigrants could be on the move. 

For a few weeks, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Las Cruces has been looking for places that could offer room and board. 

On Tuesday church leaders told KFOX14 that immigrants would be coming in waves to Las Cruces and staying at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Veronica Ontiveros , a parishioner with the parish, said, Were preparing for 150 women and children to come in so we can provide them meals, showers, any legal assistance they need to get in contact with their families.

Officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement could not be reached for comment but some believe that immigrants will be given a court date once they reach their destination.

Ontiveros said the church is preparing to receive 150 women and children every three to four days for the next few months. 

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall said, We have a responsibility to provide emergency assistance, including safe, clean housing; to help prevent the spread of violence and human trafficking along our border; and to enforce our own immigration laws.

Udall called the situation heartbreaking.

Church leaders in Las Cruces are now reaching out for help.  They said they need about 150 volunteers, including doctors and nurses. 

They also need items like clothes, food and toiletries.  Since the church doesnt have a lot of room, officials are asking that food be taken to Casa De Peregrino, while non-food items be taken to Catholic Charities in Las Cruces.

Anyone wishing to volunteer can contact the project manager, Leonel Briseno, at 575-523-7577 or lbriseno@dioceseoflascruces.org.