El Paso's Democratic mayor declares state of emergency over migrant surge

The emergency declaration allows El Paso, Texas to request additional resources and support from state officials.

Published: December 18, 2022 12:16pm

Updated: December 18, 2022 3:25pm

The Democratic mayor of El Paso declared a state of emergency on Saturday due to the ongoing border crisis as the Texas city braces for an influx of more migrants.

"As we see the increase in asylum seekers into our community and we see the temperatures dropping, and we know that Title 42 looks like it's going to be called back on Wednesday, we felt [it was the] proper time today to call a state of emergency," Mayor Oscar Leeser said Saturday at a press conference ahead of the expected expiration of Title 42, the pandemic-era public health policy used to expel migrants.

El Paso, which is located on the U.S.-Mexico border, has "hundreds and hundreds" of migrants on the streets, Leeser said.

U.S. Border Patrol in the El Paso sector encountered over 53,000 illegal migrants in October, more than any other area of the southern border, according to the most recent publicly available data

The emergency declaration allows El Paso to request additional resources and support from state officials, Fox News reported.

Leeser said the expected influx of migrants on Wednesday will be "huge" and federal officials believe current migration numbers in the city could leap from 2,500 migrants a day to up to 6,000.

Last fiscal year, Customs and Border Protection agents encountered a record of 2.4 million migrants at the border. Other Democrats, such as California Gov. Gavin Newsom, have expressed concerns about the ending of Title 42 enforcement.

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