El Paso declares an emergency due to the wave of migrants from Mexico

El Paso declares an emergency due to the wave of migrants from Mexico

“We want to make sure that people are treated with dignity. We want to make sure that everyone is safe,” Leeser told reporters.

The move comes at a time when El Paso, a Democratic stronghold with a history of welcoming immigrants, has had to deal with tens of thousands of immigrants crossing the border into Mexico in recent months.

The city is bracing for a possible surge in immigrant arrivals after a US judge ordered an end to Covid-era border restrictions, known as Title 42, by December 21.

Under the presidency of Democrat Joe Biden, who took office in January 2021, record numbers of migrants crossing the US-Mexico border have been apprehended, fueling criticism from pro-policy Republican opponents more hard.

US border agents have encountered an average of more than 2,400 migrants a day on a 268-mile stretch of the border known as the El Paso Sector over the past week, according to figures released by the city, an increase of 40% compared to with october.

As authorities move migrants from El Paso to other US cities, local shelters are overwhelmed and migrants are sleeping on the streets in freezing temperatures.

Faced with a surge in migrant arrivals in late August, the city launched a bus transportation program that sent nearly 14,000 migrants to New York and Chicago, claiming many Venezuelans were arriving without U.S. sponsors to finance their journey away from border.

The city halted the program in October when the Biden administration began expelling Venezuelans back to Mexico under Title 42, but could restart it if Venezuelans are allowed to cross into El Paso again.

(Reporting by Tim Reid and Ted Hessen; Editing in Spanish by Javier López de Lérida)

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