EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – On the same day the White House responded to the Supreme Court placing a temporary halt on the lifting of Title 42, National Guard and Texas Department of Safety could be seen putting up razor wire near Downtown El Paso with numerous humvees parked along the border.
Throughout the day and into the evening, migrants created a long line behind the wire, waiting to surrender themselves to Border Patrol agents.
The Texas Military Department tweeted on Tuesday about the deployment of troops to El Paso, saying they put up triple-strand concertina wire.
U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, told KTSM 9 News she knows that Border Patrol did not ask for this type of engagement.
“It’s not Border Patrol who asked for this type of engagement at the levy and in fact, one of the things that I’m concerned about is this is not necessarily going to stop migrants from crossing,” Escobar said. “It’s just going to push them to areas where Border Patrol is probably going to have to go and respond elsewhere.”
Escobar added that migrants cannot go to the ports of entry to seek asylum under Title 42.
“While the National Guard is saying, ‘Well they can go to the ports of entry to seek asylum,’ that is not the case under Title 42,” Escobar said.
The mayor of Juarez reacted to the troops along the border.
“By having the military out there it’s a little excessive… But I respect it because it’s another country.” said Cruz Perez Cuellar, the mayor of Juarez.
A migrant in Juarez described to our crews that he has tried to cross along the border in Arizona and now in Juarez. He said he was expecting to be able to cross until he saw the military presence.
“It’s super hard over here (to cross) but at least there’s a possibility… And now there’s none. At the moment, the military’s there. Yesterday, they were allowing people to cross,” the migrant said.
As we reported the El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser declared a state of emergency over the weekend and the city has requested state resources.
However, in a statement on Tuesday after the National Guard and DPS were seen putting up the razor wire along the border the City of El Paso sent out the following statement:
“The Texas Military Department and DPS, are currently running a training exercise near downtown. This exercise is an independent activity of these state agencies and is NOT associated with our local humanitarian operations or activities,” read the quote from Laura Cruz Acosta, a spokesperson for the City of El Paso.
The City of El Paso clarified that the Texas Guard is providing humanitarian support to migrants in El Paso as well as logistics for travel for migrants. In addition, DPS assigned to El Paso is assisting with public safety focusing on Downtown El Paso.