EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser has declared a state of emergency to go in effect at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, May 1 to deal with an expected influx of migrants when Title 42 expires in less than two weeks.
Leeser said the declaration is a way to prepare for “the unknown” with Title 42 scheduled to expire on May 11.
Leeser said the city will have public shelters and public housing that will be used to temporarily house migrants.
“May 1st I am declaring a state of emergency in our community and the reason why we’re declaring a state of emergency is to make sure that we can stand up and be prepared for of May 11, May 12 to have public shelter and public housing and this is really temporary,” Leeser said.
The state of emergency will last for seven days. Then, it will go to the City Council for possible extension.
“That it will be ratified and then moved on for a 30-day approval and I will have the opportunity and the ability to continue to do it 30-day emergency sheltering or an emergency declaration for the city of El Paso…” Leeser said.
Lesser said he wants to make sure that the community and asylum seekers continue to stay safe and the city is prepared for the end of Title 42, which was used during the pandemic to curtail immigration across the border.
“We will help and we will make sure that all our asylum seekers are treated with dignity and respect,” Leeser said.
At the news conference, city officials also said they would like migrants to stop camping out on city streets.
“We’re asking them to break down their campsites. We’re asking the public not to drop donations in the streets. Take your donations to NGOs, to the food bank too. There’s the churches that they’re capable of receiving these and they’ll make sure they get it to those in need,” said Deputy City Manager Mario D’Agostino.