EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – El Paso continues to plan for the possible arrival of thousands of migrants from Mexico, Mayor Oscar Leeser said on Monday. This, despite the Supreme Court staying the end of a policy border agents have used to expel more than 2 million migrants since 2020.
“We are seeing that Title 42 may not be lifted. One of the things we are going to do is proceed as if it was being lifted. We want to make sure we are prepared,” Leeser said.
He said an estimated 20,000 migrants were in Juarez, Mexico, as of Monday waiting to cross the border once U.S. authorities decide to end the Trump-era health order that a federal judge in Washington, D.C., has ordered vacated.
The preparations include getting 10,000 cots from the American Red Cross, having the Texas Department of Public Safety send additional law enforcement officers to El Paso and getting buses contracted by the state to transport migrants to destinations of choice such as New York City, local officials said.
“We asked for staffing to assist in shelter operations, we asked for law enforcement making sure everyone is safe – protect the community and the migrants themselves that are out on the street to make sure they are not taken advantage of,” said Deputy City Manager Mario D’Agostino. “We have already seen those results materialize.”
D’Agostino said additional state police are already in the city and at least two buses chartered by the state transported migrants to New York City this past weekend. In addition, members of the Texas State Guard are on standby to help.
“The Texas Guard are the same men and women who helped us at the food bank, helped us with COVID vaccinations,” D’Agostino said. “Those assets are being deployed in case we need them in other places.”
In addition, the city and county will continue with plans to shore up shelter operations to accommodate up to 5,000 migrants at any one time. That includes preparing city and county facilities and getting commitments from the school districts and the private sectors for empty buildings they might have available to house migrants.
D’Agostino acknowledged that fewer people have been coming across the border in the past couple of days in the same numbers as last week (2,500 per day), but he called that a “temporary lull.”
“I agree we have to act as if Title 42 was being lifted because that will help us pull in all our resources,” said El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego. “I can tell you the name of the game is minimizing. We are the best on the border how we come together and we minimize. I want to reassure that whatever happens, feel confident we will figure things out […] It’s not sustainable all the time, but every time that happens, we are able to get a handle on it.”