El Paso Mayor Declares State of Emergency Amid Surge of Illegal Aliens

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The mayor of El Paso declared a state of emergency on Dec. 17, citing a surge in the numbers of illegal aliens in the city’s streets and an expected influx of more to come across the Southern border as the Title 42 border policy is set to end by Dec. 21.

El Paso, a Democrat stronghold in Texas located on the U.S. border with Mexico, has a history of welcoming immigrants but has struggled in recent months to deal with tens of thousands of illegal aliens crossing the southern border into the United States.

Mayor Oscar Leeser, a Democrat, said the emergency measures will allow the city to have more resources and authority to shelter those who have crossed the southern border, and that this is expected to become more necessary with the Title 42 policy’s ending on Dec. 21, reported the El Paso Times.

He said he was prompted to consider issuing the state of emergency declaration after seeing scores of illegal aliens, who have been released into the city, sleeping in downtown streets in freezing temperatures on the night of Dec. 16. Leeser said he decided to declare a state of emergency after conference calls with federal, state, and municipal officials.

“That’s not the way we want to treat people,” the mayor said during a Dec. 17 news conference.

“We wanted to make sure people are treated with dignity. We want to make sure everyone is safe.”

On Dec. 21, the increase in illegal aliens would be “incredible,” and daily apprehensions and street releases could reach up to 6,000 per day, Leeser told reporters, according to the El Paso Times.

Border agents have encountered an average of more than 2,400 illegal aliens a day in a 268-mile stretch of the border known as the El Paso Sector over the past week, according to figures published by the city. This marks a 40 percent increase compared with October.

By Mimi Nguyen Ly

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