EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Seven members of Congress were in El Paso on Friday to see what the city needs and how the city has dealt with the migrant crisis over the past few months.
The Democratic representatives were invited by U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, and met for a roundtable discussion with El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego and Mayor Oscar Leeser, as well as representatives from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
A key topic brought up was federal funding for El Paso. U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, asked what would happen if federal funding for El Paso was cut.
Leeser quickly responded to Jackson Lee and spoke with KTSM 9 News after the roundtable.
“Even if we said were going to use local money, we couldn’t do that. We couldn’t do that. We wouldn’t have that type of money. If you remember we were spending $250,000 to $300,000 a day,” Leeser said.
Jackson Lee, of Houston, brought up her concerns about El Paso losing federal funding due to the potential debt ceiling crisis in the country.
“They want to cut discretionary spending, that is the very funding that El Paso would get were now able to take a message back to Washington and say that would be the worst thing that could ever happen,” Jackson Lee said.
El Paso has received upfront federal funding for the migrant crisis, however, County Administrator Betsy Keller said that advanced funding doesn’t come as soon as the county had anticipated.
As we’ve reported, migrants continue to be expelled under Title 42. The representatives from Juarez said that the U.S. is sending “too many migrants” back to Juarez under Title 42, asking for financial support.