On Saturday, the mayor of the border city of El Paso, Texas, in the state of Texas, announced a state of emergency, citing the thousands of migrants who are being apprehended every day as well as the hundreds of migrants who are sleeping outside in the freezing conditions.
The Democratic Mayor of the city, Oscar Leeser, stated that the emergency declaration would provide the city authorities with the resources and the ability to house migrants who had crossed the Mexican border. “We wanted to ensure everyone is given the respect they deserve. We are concerned about the well-being of everyone, “Leeser told reporters.
El Paso, a Democratic stronghold with a history of welcoming immigrants, has struggled in recent months to deal with tens of thousands of migrants crossing the border with Mexico. This decision comes at a time when El Paso works to manage the influx of migrants. Following a ruling by a judge in the United States that COVID-era border restrictions known as Title 42 must be lifted by Dec 21, the city is preparing for the possibility of an increase in the number of migrants arriving there.
Under the administration of President Joe Biden, a Democrat who took office in January 2021, a record number of migrants have been detained trying to cross the border between the United States and Mexico. This has fueled assaults by Republican opponents who support stricter regulations.
According to figures published by the city of El Paso, over the past week, United States border agents in a 268-mile stretch of the border known as the El Paso Sector encountered an average of more than 2,400 migrants per day. This represents a 40% increase when compared with the number of migrants located in October.
Even though government officials in El Paso are moving migrants to other locations in the United States, local shelters are overflowing, and migrants have been sleeping on the streets despite temperatures dropping below freezing.
El Paso’s deputy city manager, Mario D’Agostino, stated that the emergency declaration would also offer the city additional transportation options to move migrants to other destinations and further assistance from the state’s law enforcement.
As the number of migrants coming into the city swelled around the end of August, the city implemented a busing program that transported over 14,000 migrants to New York and Chicago. According to the city, many Venezuelans arrived in the United States without U.S. sponsors.
The city of El Paso stopped the program in October when the Biden administration began sending Venezuelans back to Mexico under Title 42. However, D’Agostino suggested on Thursday that the program might be restarted if Venezuelans were again permitted to cross into El Paso.
On Friday, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit turned down an appeal from a coalition of Republican attorneys general in state governments in the United States who wanted to intervene in a lawsuit to preserve Title 42. The United States Supreme Court is open to hearing appeals from the states.
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