EL PASO, Texas (KTSM)- City leaders talked in a news conference about what they are planning and preparing to do about the migrant surge ahead of Title 42 ending, as well as how they are trying to decompress the community.
Mayor Oscar Leeser said the migrants that roam the streets of El Paso are only passing through to other parts of the United States.
The mayor also mentioned he believes the immigration process is broken.
Additionally, officials commented they are anticipating around 12,000 to 15,000 migrants to cross the border before May 11.
“They’re coming to the United States and our job will be to continue to help our asylum seekers get to the next destination. We will not send anybody to anywhere they don’t want to, so we’ll interview and make sure they don’t send them,” Leeser said.
Leeser also addressed how decompressing the community is the main goal.
Meanwhile, city officials are preparing temporary shelters at the vacant El Paso Independent School District schools and if necessary, the Civic Center. The City of El Paso can afford to open these shelters with the money they’ve received from the federal government.
“We have received $22.5 million to be able to do the job, and today, we still have $15 million that will continue to be used. This is not on the back of the local taxpayers,” Leeser added.
Officials said they are trying to help migrants get to their next destination by plane and bus on a daily basis.
“It’s not just about transporting those that don’t have a means to get to the unsponsored, it’s about transporting people to other hub locations so they can get a flight out of other airports. So, it might come across as two different transportations but that’s what the key is to decompress. Here locally and to get them onto a transportation hub where they can connect easier with flights,” Deputy City Manager Mario D’Agostino stated.
In addition, Leeser also reminded that they are not citing people that remain at Sacred Heart Church. He said they go through and remind the migrants of the law that camping is not allowed while also breaking down camp sites, clean up in the downtown area is done twice daily.