The El Paso church that has become a symbol of the broken US immigration system

They call it "Ellis Island of the southwest", but it's a loose comparison. 

The Sacred Heart Church in Segundo Barrio, El Paso, is indeed a staging post for immigrants to America.

For thousands, it is a processing centre offering empathy, benevolence and practical help through the first steps in a foreign land.

But that's where the comparisons end with Ellis Island, now a tourist attraction that celebrates the American dream.

The Sacred Heart Church is more American nightmare. This freelance enterprise, operating in a different era, tells a story of outreach work that contrasts with the US itself - hands extended versus hands wrung.

A broken US immigration system is writ large at this church and on the streets that surround it. For weeks now, hundreds of migrants have congregated as the end of Title 42 approaches.

It's quieter now. The day before the deadline, there was a "sweep" of the streets by immigration "Enforcement and Removal" teams that prompted 917 migrants to volunteer for processing.

They hand themselves in and claim asylum - and the process of application begins.

Read more:
Here's what happens when Title 42 border law ends

It's complicated. We spoke to Yandel, from Venezuela, who has been sleeping on the street outside the Sacred Heart for 15 days.

He has been registered into the system and has a court date for an asylum hearing - but not until 2027. The law won't allow him to work until that date.

He was one among tens of thousands handed a piece of paper that's knocked him, and them, far into the future - ditto solutions to a big problem getting bigger.