EL PASO, TX – In the midst of the immigration crisis in the U.S.-Mexico border region, the Mayor of El Paso, Texas, Oscar Leeser issued a declaration of emergency to request additional resources and support from the State to include personnel to address the situation, shelter, as well as transportation for people in mobility.
The declaration was issued last December 17 and according to the City Council, it will be in effect for seven days, during which time the City Council will be convened to ratify the declaration.
The Emergency Operations Center will also be put in place and will implement emergency management plans to protect the health, safety and welfare of immigrants and the community.
The migration crisis has been ongoing since 2018. The current wave of migrants arriving in El Paso began in April 2022 and a sudden surge was recorded at the end of August. The number of people handed over to local authorities and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) has increased from approximately 250 per day in early August to over 1,000 per day during September 2022.
The number fluctuates daily and currently stands at an average of 900 per day. The city of El Paso has indicated that it prioritizes the individual migrant, providing food and water, connectivity, transportation assistance, and temporary shelter if necessary.
Local government data indicates that the people crossing are mainly from Venezuela, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Cuba.
Although the numbers have been as high as 90% and as low as 50% from Venezuela, the number currently stands at approximately 70%. The rest of the migrants come from other countries, such as Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Cuba.
The decision of the declaration comes in the context of the disappearance of Title 42, so the government of El Paso seeks to provide assistance to migrants, mainly with the record low temperatures.
City authorities reported that for federal fiscal year 2023, the Southwest encounters stand at 204,273, of which 76,402 are a result of Title 42.
It also indicated that the region recorded 230,678 land border encounters in the month of October 2022 alone; the El Paso sector had 53,284 land border encounters and a total of 53,284 encounters for federal fiscal year 2023, according to CBP figures.
The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) reported that it has been sending roving teams to assist migrants that CBP is releasing downtown. These brigades are focused on helping people arrange transportation and offering shelter to protect them from the elements and cold temperatures.