The city of El Paso, Texas is closing its wallet, refusing to foot the bill for continued migrant mitigation measures while it awaits nearly $7 million from the Biden administration. But officials have not declared a state of emergency, reportedly at the request of the White House which didn’t want to make President Joe Biden look bad before the midterms.
The southern border town has been overrun with illegal immigrants since Biden took office, seeing more than 6,000 South American nationals weekly during peak migration periods to the tune of $8.9 million this year, and officials say they can no longer continue to use city funds for a federal issue.
“We’re waiting on $7 million in reimbursement and we’re going to need to see some approval or some advanced funding before we start any other operations,” said El Paso Deputy City Manager Mario D’Augostino at a city meeting Monday.
Federal processing facilities and local shelters are at capacity, forcing border patrol agents to release 600 migrants to El Paso streets since Friday, complicating the border city’s illegal immigration dilemma.
https://t.co/LETh64l6ch Yet El Paso city officials have been taking orders from the #Biden administration on immigration and vilified a council woman who blew the whistle on them. You get what you deserve El Paso
— RedPillMo (@RedPillMo1) November 9, 2022
“The decision to provisionally release migrants was determined after exhausting all other decompression options for the custody of migrants found in our sector,” El Paso Border Patrol officials said Monday in a statement.
The city was asked by the Biden administration to open a welcome center for migrants but the center closed after the administration reversed its policy on Venezuelan migrants, ordering migrants from the country expelled, diminishing the need for the facility. The city also ceased busing operations in October as migrant numbers reduced.
Since then, El Paso has been overrun with migrants from Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador and Nicaragua, reportedly seeing 1,400 people a day attempting to cross the Mexico border.
“They asked us to please set up a welcome center; we held [our] ground,” D’Augostino said. “We’ve been very clear with Border Patrol, all the state and local partners that we’re not going to go operational until we get secured funding.”
The city requested $3 million in advance funding to reopen the center for 30 days but the city will no longer pay for migrants’ travel expenses, having spent $9.5 million to shelter and transport migrants thus far in 2022.
“We are not looking to get in the transportation business again,” Mayor Oscar Leeser said.
The mayor has resisted calls from city council members to declare a state of emergency, paving the way for state and federal funding, claiming the White House asked him not to for fear that it would make Biden look bad.
Biden demands El Paso mayor not declare an immigration emergency as 1,000s of immigrants flood his city. Where does hizzoner thibk he is, Martha’s Vineyard?
— Richard McEnroe (@RichardMcEnroe3) November 5, 2022
“We’re being very reactive to this when we should have been proactive,” city councilwoman Claudia Rodriguez said. “We should have been declaring that disaster declaration a lot sooner and had the resources available, [then] we wouldn’t be in this situation.”
The Biden admin pressured the Dem mayor of El Paso to downplay Biden’s border crisis. Unacceptable! pic.twitter.com/EX2xmEmVxW
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) October 18, 2022
El Paso County opened a Migrant Support Services Center on October 10 and is transporting 300 migrants per day, hoping to scale up to 500 daily in the coming weeks.
The center, run by a third-party contractor, only transports single migrants with the funds to cover travel costs. They’ve assisted 3,800 migrants since opening.
We all know the truth about the situation for the border communities. It only makes sense that the Democrats would try and hide the truth.
— Greg Fowler (@gregfowler95) October 18, 2022
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