EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – On October 20th the El Paso Chamber hosted its final “State of” address at Paso del Norte hotel in downtown El Paso. This address featured the El Paso County with keynote speaker Judge Ricardo Samaniego.

In his address, Samaniego spoke about the improvements the county has seen and its strategic plan for 2022-2026. This plan includes economic development, veteran services, increase tourism, upgrade infrastructure, lead justice reform and the migrant crisis along the border.

Talking about economic development, Samaniego says its important to bring large businesses to El Paso as they provide more jobs for the area. However, if the company does not agree to the minimum wage of $14, they no longer discuss bringing them in.

Samaniego explains the importance of providing better benefits to residents.

“We used to be a cheap labor kind of community that’s gone, we want technology we want people to get paid well so a lot of the initiatives that we address have to do with paying better great opportunities great health benefits.”

The large influx of migrants that have been surging into El Paso were brought up during the address. Samaniego said he believes that with the resources they have, they were able to handle it well as this is nothing new to El Paso.

“We’ve been working on this for four years so were not reacting to the crisis we have a very managed crisis compared to other parts of the border they’re chaos that’s why they talk about chaos at the border is really not in reference to us.”

Expressing that there were some problems that they had to overcome over the migrant crisis, Samaniego disagrees with sending them back to Mexico.

“We’re pushing it back into Juarez and its a community that cant handle it that will create they’re going to be preyed on they’re going to be you know violence and things as much as we like the fact that were not having to deal with it they’re also great partners of us that we cant just push it back on Juarez.”

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