As migrant shelters in southern Arizona reach full capacity, Pima County may have to join other counties in releasing asylum seekers onto the streets.

Over the last week, there has been a surge in border crossings, and in just the Tucson Sector alone, around 1,100 migrants are sent to shelters and other facilities daily while they wait for their asylum hearings.

Pima County spokesperson Mark Evans said the system has never been more vulnerable in the last four years, but weekends are especially hard because there are less helping hands.

“One of the issues we’re dealing with over the weekend is a lot of our shelter partners, especially the ones in Phoenix that help us with overflow, are churches,” Evans said. “There are church services on Sunday’s and lot of the people who help run the shelters, or help staff or the volunteers are at church.”

He also said that, in general, teams providing services to migrants need to recharge on the weekends too because of the job’s long hours.

Cochise and Santa Cruz countiesamong othershave already had to release migrants into their communities.

This prompted a conference from Cochise officials on Thursday who also spoke about the strain on resources and response teams.

So far, Pima County has been able to these avoid street releases, but if the influx of migrants persists, it may have to initiate them.

If it continues to happen day after day after day, then that becomes overwhelming. And were just desperate to not have that happen,” Evans said.

“Its not good for the community, its not good for our communitys safety, its not good for the safety of these people who are simply trying to come to this country to have a better and more prosperous and safer life than where theyre coming from.

When first arriving in the United States, the migrants are processed by the Department of Homeland Security and then released to short-term shelters 24-48 hours later.

Evans said it’s hard to give an exact number on what is considered full shelter capacity because people are constantly coming and going.

Many of the migrants have friends or family they plan to stay with while they legally await their asylum hearing in the U.S., so some may not even spend a single night at the shelters.

But even if local government groups and nonprofits do everything they can to monitor the surges, Evans said he feels there’s only one way to fix the problem.

Where this really is going to get resolved is in the Congress. There needs to be changes in the laws. Thats a pretty sticky wicket there and I think because it is such a complicated issue,” he said.

“Thats why its gone on for more than four years now and hasnt been resolved. But boy, we really hope they find some sort of solution soon. Its pretty tiring.

Pima County hopes things will die down within the next week to give teams a chance to breathe and resources a chance to repopulate.

It will release a formal notice if street releases are necessary.

“They’re human beings and they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and treated humanely,” Evans said. “That’s been our goal all along.”