Officials in El Paso issue disaster declaration in response to migrant crisis
(El Paso, Texas) — On Saturday, El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser announced he approved a disaster declaration to help provide more resources for the large numbers of migrants seeking asylum that have been dropped off in the city. At a press conference, the mayor cited cold temperatures as a need to issue the declaration, as many migrants were sleeping on the streets in the city after being dropped off by border authorities.
“I really believe today, that 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,” Mayor Leeser said.
The mayor said the emergency order gives the city the ability to access state resources to help provide shelter, bring in additional law enforcement, and to work with federal partners. Leeser said that the city needs more shelters as officials are bracing for the end of Title 42 on Wednesday, the public health law put in place during the pandemic that allowed for border authorities to turn away migrants. City officials say the end of the law may lead to even larger numbers of migrants being dropped off in the city.