EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The City of El Paso has requested resources from the State of Texas as Title 42 could possibly end in less than one week.
The request comes as thousands of migrants line up at the border to surrender themselves. In Downtown El Paso migrants can be seen on the streets waiting for transportation out of the city.
The request to the state is specifically for transportation for migrants, staff for processing, feeding, shelter, and more law enforcement for the community. While a request has been made, a ‘State of Emergency’ has not been declared.
Deputy City Manager Mario D’Agostino explains that without an emergency being declared, the state can choose to provide resources as long as they have the funding for the same type of operations already.
He explains that the state is not sheltering migrants, but they are providing transportation and law enforcement. Adding that an emergency declaration would allow the state to open up additional funding outside of its normal budget.
“Law enforcement they do provide, law enforcement for migration and for crowds in areas they do provide so that’s something that we hope we can get that request fulfilled. The request for transportation that’s something their already doing their already operational, we’re hoping we can get that request fulfilled. The third one as I talked about is not in the budget so that’s the difference between a declaration and a simple request,” said D’Agostino.
Recommending that an emergency be declared.
“Our city staff is tasked, our county staff is tasked, CBP is tasked, their working long hours day and night, their doing processing rather than their primary function of securing the border, so everyone is tasked in this area, those are the reasons why I recommend declaring an emergency,” said D’Agostino.
El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser maintains that it would not make a difference.
“There wouldn’t be any difference if you declared, still you’re not guaranteed any resources you’re not guaranteed anything,” said Leeser during a press conference on Thursday.
Leeser was asked what his threshold is to issue an emergency.
“If I feel the community is not safe, if I feel our visitors into our country are not safe then that’s when you need to declare it and at this point you see it, we all see it that our community is very safe and that our visitors into our country continue to be safe and we continue to provide a service,” said Leeser.
City Representatives Isabel Salcido and Claudia Rodriguez urging the mayor to issue a State of Emergency.
“You should never mix peoples lives with politics,” said Salcido.
Explaining in an interview with KTSM 9 News that in the past when emergencies have been declared, the state has provided funds to El Paso.
“August 3, we declared, funds were deployed, we had the whole covid-19, everything was deployed so it’s proven concept we do get funding there is funding allocated so not calling a disaster right now we’re missing out on those resources that have proven being given to us,” said Salcido.