EL PASO, Texas (KTSM)- After President Joe Biden visited El Paso on Sunday to speak with local officials about the migrant crisis, KTSM caught up with some of those leaders about the conversations they had with the president.
President Biden stopped at three different locations across El Paso during his four-hour visit. Those included a nearly one hour stop at the Bridge of the Americas, an unannounced stop at the border wall by Paisano Drive in West El Paso and a stop at the El Paso County Migrant Services Center.
At the county’s center, he met with local officials including El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego, other local officials, El Paso County Commissioners and local non-profits.
Iliana Holguin, County Commissioner Pct. 3 had a conversation with the president during his brief stop at the services center.
“My message was primarily thanking him for making the trip to El Paso because like I said, I don’t think you really understand what we as a community go through when we see these surges, El Paso has always been a welcoming community, but we do need help, we can’t do it on our own.”Iliana Holguin, County Commissioner Pct. 3
Commissioner David Stout, Pct 2, said he wanted President Biden to see how much non-governmental organizations help on the ground when El Paso sees migrant surges and shelters as well as local facilities are at capacity.
“I talked to him about supporting the NGOs, you know we are managing this crisis and utilizing so many volunteers and I think the NGOs need a lot of support as well,” Stout said. “The government should take it out of the hands of the NGOs and into their own.”
During President Biden’s visit to the border wall, he could be heard saying: “They need a lot of resources, we’re going to get it for them.”
El Paso County Communications Manager Laura Gallegos said right now the county is looking to move the operations to a larger location despite numbers of migrants decreasing, saying they want to be ready in case there is a need for it.
As we’ve previously reported, the county opened the Migrant Services Center at a location near Montana in early October to help migrants be processed and assist with their travel plans in order for them to get to their sponsors across the country.