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LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Border Patrol agents dropped off asylum-seeking migrants in New Mexico's second most populous city for the second day in a row Saturday, prompting Las Cruces officialsto appeal for donations of food and personal hygiene items.
The migrants were being temporarily housed at a homeless shelter, a city recreation center and a campus of social service agencies, city officials said in a statement.
The statement said 83 migrants arrived Saturday after about 95 were dropped off by the Border Patrol on Friday at the Gospel Rescue Mission homeless shelter and the Community of Hope campus.
Some migrants were taken to Meerscheidt Recreation Center, which the statement said was closed to the public because of its use as temporary housing for migrants. The closing forced cancellation of a T-ball on-site registration event that was scheduled Saturday.
The statement said needed items included utensils, napkins, paper plates, sanitary napkins, shampoo, clothing, towels, blankets, canned food, bottled water, foam padding for bedding and stuffed toys.
The Border Patrol announced Thursday it would release migrants in southern New Mexico and in El Paso, Texas, pending their future court hearings Immigration and Customs "capacity issues."
In another development, the state Department of Health in Santa Fe on Saturday appealed for health care professionals to join a state-run volunteer registry involved "in the humanitarian mission by providing medical screening support services to migrants in New Mexico. "
The department's statement Saturday saying New Mexico Medical Reserve Corps needs volunteers didn't specifically mention the Border Patrol's dropoffs of migrants Friday and Saturday in Las Cruces, and a department spokesman didn't respond to a query from The Associated Press.