The mayor of El Paso declared a disaster “due to a humanitarian, security, and economic crisis resulting from a mass migration” through the city. The declaration comes as thousands of migrants continue to cross from Mexico into the city in advance of the end of the Title 42 protocol expected on Wednesday.
Freezing temperatures in the city of El Paso are in the forecast for the coming week while hundreds of migrants camp out on the streets. The surge of migrant crossings, only expected to increase following the termination of the Title 42 migrant removal protocol on Wednesday, led El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser to declare a state of disaster.
El Paso Declaration of Disaster due to Border Crisis pic.twitter.com/i9nUQGqLn2
— Tony Gonzales (@TonyGonzales4TX) December 18, 2022
“The reason why we’re doing it is because I said from the beginning that I would call it when I felt that either our asylum seekers or our community was not safe,” Mayor Leeser told reporters during a Saturday night press conference. “And I really believe that today our asylum seekers are not safe, as we have hundreds and hundreds on the streets. And that’s not the way we want to treat people.”
In a four-page disaster declaration, the mayor laid out the causes for the emergency declaration. Those include, in part:
- Thousands of migrants gathered at or near the U.S.-Mexico border,
- The expected end of Title 42 due to a court order,
- The release of migrants by Border Patrol officials onto the streets of El Paso “with little to no resources,
- The lack of city resources for transportation and housing,
- The arrival in December of approximately 6,000 migrants weekly,
- The lack of resources at local NGOs to care for migrants,
- The release of more than 40000 migrants by Border Patrol to NGO and city streets.
The mayor cited concerns for an imminent threat of widespread injury or loss of life resulting from the migrant surge as temperatures drop below freezing and the increased demand on local shelters that are already above capacity.
I’ve never seen anything quite like this. Massive line of migrants waiting to be let in through the border wall gates, and more continue to arrive, overwhelming officals in El Paso. Situation is expected to get worse as Title 42 is set to expire @DailyCaller pic.twitter.com/Ry86PejMpT
— Jorge Ventura Media (@VenturaReport) December 15, 2022
Democrat State Senator Cesar Blanco (D-El Paso) tweeted a statement of support for the mayor’s disaster declaration.
My statement on the humanitarian crisis in #ElPaso. #txlege pic.twitter.com/TCSnR2PSLu
— Cesar Blanco (@CesarJBlanco) December 18, 2022
The senator also cited the end of the Title 42 program as a cause for an increase in services.
Mayor Leeser previously resisted the issuance of an emergency declaration, the El Paso Times reported.
Mayor Leeser said he expects an “incredible” increase in migrant crossing that could be as high as 6,000 per day.
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