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Mayor Oscar Leeser declares a state of emergency effective May 1 to address migrant surge

EL PASO, Texas - Mayor Oscar Leeser declared a state of emergency Sunday morning for the City of El Paso. It goes into effect on May 1 at 12:01 a.m. The mayor says the declaration will help address the migrant surge expected after Title 42 is lifted. The CDC health policy is expected to be lifted on May 11. The mayor said the city's shelters are beyond capacity, meanwhile, when he visited Juarez he noticed the shelters were empty. Throughout his address to the media and the public, Mayor Leeser kept reiterating the border is not open, and will remain closed after the lifting of Title 42. "We're getting prepared for and we've talked about this a lot. We're getting prepared now, what we call the unknown and the unknown. It's what will happen after May 11th," he said. He added the city is not going to be enforcing federal laws, but remains committed to enforcing city and local laws. As for the costs of hosting migrants while they are processed and moved to their destination, Deputy City Manager Mario D'Agostino tells ABC-7 there is only a $1.3 million payment pending from the last time El Paso experienced a migrant surge. The city applied for federal reimbursements in that instance. The funding method was changed in December 2022 from reimbursements to advancements. CBP-El Paso has had about 40,000 migrant encounters along the border just in the month of March this year according to the declaration of disaster. It also states there were more than one million encounters along the Southwest out of which almost half were the result off Title 42. Title 42 has been enforced since the pandemic for health safety reasons. Title 8 will continue and has been a law for the past four decades. In the weeks following President Joe Biden's announcement of the lifting of Title 42, the El Paso border has seen thousands of migrants from Latin America gather in make-shift camps.
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Yvonne Suarez


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