EL PASO, TX (KTSM)- A federal judge in Louisiana blocked Title 42 from being lifted on Friday, however, El Paso County Judge Richard Samaniego says El Paso still needs to be prepared.
Related story: Title 42 must remain in place, judge rules
A ruling was to be expected in the near future but a federal judge in Louisiana ruled Friday that the Biden administration must continue to deny migrants at the border on Title 42 grounds.
Initiated at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, Title 42 has allowed U.S. Border Patrol agents and U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers to immediately expel migrants from the U.S. without giving them a chance to request asylum.
“We have to expect that title 42 will be lifted someway, somehow. The issue we have now is let’s say people ask me ‘do you want it to be lifted,’ and it doesn’t matter because they’re accumulating at the border anyway,” said El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego.
He said El Paso is already seeing 1500 apprehensions per day.
“Delaying it only creates more people coming closer to the border, and, waiting for it to happen, and now, were going to have to deal with the large numbers like were dealing with now,” Samaniego added.
However, he does add that the delay gives El Paso more time to get prepared.
“Personally, I don’t look at Title 42 as something that’s permanent so I hope that all of our partners are not thinking that now we can sort of sit back. We have a lot of things we need to do,” said Samaniego.
During the County Commissioners Court on Thursday, it was said that El Paso needs a processing center, shelters, and people to work at those facilities.
As for the emergency declarations that Samaniego said he and Mayor Oscar Leeser were planning to issue, he said even before the judges ruling that while it is still on the agenda for Commissioners Court, that he is going to propose that it is not passed.
He explains that the reason for that is because he was advised by someone high up in Washington that El Paso would not be able to get additional funding from Federal Emergency Management Agency through the emergency declarations.
“Were already getting a lot of funding from an emergency shelter fund that they have that’s what were tapping into. That things wouldn’t change,” said Samaniego. “If the mayor and I make the declaration and it’s not going to help with funding then it doesn’t make sense for us to do that because then people will pick up the narrative that were having an emergency or a disaster situation,” said Samaniego.
However, Samaniego does say El Paso will still be able to prepare and get the facilities needed with the current funding.
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