EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The El Paso City Council approved an emergency ordinance on Monday to help with large numbers of migrants coming into El Paso.

As we reported, originally it was going to be an emergency declaration. However, Mayor Oscar Leeser says a declaration could mean that Governor Greg Abbott might send the National Guard to El Paso.

“We were worried that the governor would get the letter because it was going to the Governor and he would send the national guards down to the border or the DPS down to the border and create a scene that is not welcome in our community,” said Oscar Leeser, Mayor of El Paso.

Title 42 the policy that allows migrants to be expelled over COVID-19 concerns is still in place as the overturning of the policy was over ruled by a Federal Judge last Friday.

However, the Deputy City Manager says the City of El Paso needed the emergency ordinance to just continue doing what the city is already doing in regards to migrants.

“We’ve been seeing large numbers over the last several weeks months and it led to a couple of weeks ago on Sunday when we had releases in the streets and so that calls for us to come to action so we can assist them so they’re not congregating in the streets so they have somewhere they can go and somewhere they can eat,” said Chief Mario D’Agostino the Deputy City Manager.

D’Agostino saying the ordinance will allow for the city to continue having city employees work at migrant shelters.

Officials say currently over 20 city employees have been working at Casa De Refugiado with Annunciation house.

However, Ruben Garcia the Director of Annunciation house tells KTSM 9 News he’s looking to close Casa De Rufugiado.

The shelter houses anywhere from 100 to 150 migrants this summer. Although, Garcia did say he was offering the City and or County the space if they want to open their own shelter.

The County Commissioners speaking about the importance of getting more space to assist migrant shelters even though Title 42 is still in place.

County Judge Ricardo Samaniego talking about the need for upfront federal payments for migrant organizations.

“Prepayment of funds that is like so important. It seems so insignificant but you’re asking an NGO to cover the cost until they get reimbursed. We are still waiting for payments of a year ago, and we can mitigate that but some of the NGOs are sort of hesitant until we talk about getting the payment ahead of time.

The County did have an item on the agenda to discuss and take appropriate action regarding assistance to migrants entering the community and the allocation and reimbersment of corresponding County funds.

The commissioners voted to take no action on the item.

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