The mayor of a Texas border city declared a state of emergency Saturday over concerns about the community's ability to handle an anticipated influx of migrants across the Southern border, per the AP. El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser issued the state of emergency declaration to allow the city on the US border with Mexico to tap into additional resources that are expected to become necessary after Title 42 expulsions end on Dec. 21, the El Paso Times reported. Leeser had previously resisted issuing an emergency declaration, but said he was moved to action by the sight of people on downtown streets with temperatures dipping below freezing.
“That’s not the way we want to treat people,” Leeser said during a news conference Saturday evening. A ruling Friday by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals means restrictions that have prevented hundreds of thousands of migrants from seeking asylum in the US in recent years are set to be lifted Wednesday, unless further appeals are filed. Leeser said the increase would be “incredible” after Wednesday, when daily apprehensions and street releases could reach up to 6,000 per day.
El Paso Deputy City Manager Mario D’Agostino said the state emergency of declaration would give the city greater flexibility in operating larger sheltering operations and providing additional transportation for asylum seekers. For more on why El Paso is under such strain, see this Wall Street Journal from earlier in the week. “My country is hard; there’s no work and our president is very bad,” a 28-year-old Nicaraguan tells the newspaper, explaining why she had arrived in the border city. “We can’t buy rice and beans. If you buy one, you can’t buy the other.”
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