‘Not Safe’: El Paso Mayor Declares State Of Emergency Over Border Crisis | Eastern North Carolina Now

    The mayor of El Paso, Texas, declared a state of emergency on Saturday over a surge in unlawful migrant crossings ahead of the upcoming end of Title 42.

    "Our asylum seekers are not safe," said Democratic Mayor Oscar Leeser at a press conference to announce the measure. "We have hundreds and hundreds on the street and that's not the way we treat our people."

    Leeser expressed concern that even more illegal immigrants would soon enter El Paso after Title 42 is set to expire on Wednesday. The Trump-era immigration and health policy allows Border Patrol agents to turn away migrants at the border to stop the spread of COVID.

    The declaration also comes as the El Paso sector has reportedly experienced a recent surge of more than 2,400 migrants per day over the last week, marking a 40% increase over already high numbers in October, according to Reuters.

    According to public data, more than 80,000 migrants have entered El Paso in the last four months. Approximately 678,000 people reside in the city.

    Nighttime temperatures have recently dropped into the 20s, creating a dangerous scenario for hundreds of migrants sleeping outdoors after local facilities have been filled beyond capacity.

    The mayor did not rule out the option of using a nearby military base to temporarily house migrants, saying that city officials were discussing options with state and federal authorities.

    Saturday's press conference was an abrupt change from Leeser's Thursday event that reportedly avoided questions about the possibility of declaring a state of emergency. He said the city expected to receive $6 million in government funding to assist migrants in El Paso without declaring a state of emergency.

    On Friday, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia denied a last-minute lawsuit filed by a group of Republican attorneys general to keep Title 42 in place. While the decision could be appealed to the Supreme Court, it would unlikely change the situation before the December 21 deadline.

    The denial follows a November ruling by Judge Emmet Sullivan of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., stating that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's use of Title 42 to prevent people from entering for asylum is "arbitrary" and a violation of the law.

    "It is unreasonable for the CDC to assume that it can ignore the consequences of any actions it chooses to take in the pursuit of fulfilling its goals, particularly when those actions included the extraordinary decision to suspend the codified procedural and substantive rights of non-citizens seeking safe harbor," Sullivan said in the court opinion.

    The Biden administration sought to previously end Title 42. Arizona led a group of several states in a federal lawsuit to stop the rollback. In May, U.S. District Judge Robert R. Summerhays blocked the Biden administration from terminating the policy.
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