BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The city of Brownsville held a special meeting on Thursday to discuss the extension of a disaster declaration issued after a surge of migrants came through the border last week.
“I think it’s absolutely absurd that we’re even here today debating whether or not to extend our disaster orders. Knowing what we know about the end of Title 42,” said resident Deborah Bell.
Amid the end of Title 42, the city continues its efforts to brace for an immigrant influx.
“With the end of Title 42 next week, we don’t know exactly what we’ll be facing,” said Brownsville Mayor Pro Tem Roy De Los Santos. “That’s why it’s important we continue to take every precaution that we can to make sure our city’s ready for whatever comes our way.”
De Los Santos says the extension of the disaster declaration would help with resources if funds run out.
“We’re absolutely activating at a level that we have not had to before. But that’s why we have the emergency declarations so that we’re compensated and reimbursed for any added expenses,” said De Los Santos.
Brownsville city leaders say over 2,500 migrants have already been processed since May 1 and with Title 42 slated to end next week, that number is expected to increase.
“We need to be prepared. It’s better to be prepared and not need the resources. We’ve mobilized than to need resources and not have them available,” added De Los Santos.
Brownsville resident Bonnie Elbert attended the meeting but left with more questions than answers.
“What’s the plan? Because they’re people and they’re important. I don’t like to see them come here illegally, but I surely don’t want to see them come and be taken advantage of, or harmed in any way,” said Elbert.
The commission will discuss another extension at the next city commission meeting May 10.