El Paso mayor declares state of emergency as city floods with migrants

El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser declared a state of emergency on Saturday in response to an influx of migrants that have overwhelmed city shelters and left hundreds of migrants sleeping on the streets.

Leeser expects migrant arrival to increase to an “incredible” level after Dec. 21, when Title 42 is set to end. The law, enacted under the Trump administration, allowed for the quick deportation of migrants in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in detention facilities.

El Paso Deputy City Manager Mario D’Agostino said the state of emergency declaration that the state of emergency would give the city more flexibility in operating larger sheltering operations and provide additional transportation for arriving asylum seekers.

The city has requested additional personnel for feeding and housing operations, additional busing operations and state law enforcement.

“We want to make sure we’re prepared for that and we can react to that, so this is just the next step to make sure we’re prepared,” D’Agostino said.

“The situation has superseded our local governments’ capacity and with Title 42 set to expire next week, the demand for resources is elevated,” Democratic Texas Sen. Cesar Blanco said in a Saturday statement. “I support the city of El Paso’s Declaration of Disaster to activate a whole-of-government approach to addressing this unprecedented crisis.”




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