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El Paso mayor: White House asked him not to declare an emergency due to the migrant uptick. He said it was unnecessary

Oscar Leeser, El Paso’s mayor, stated in a meeting last month that while the White House had asked him to delay declaring a State of Emergency over the rise in migrants crossing the border into the US, he said that he didn’t believe it was necessary.

Leeser stated that the White House asked us to not do so at this time. He said that they would continue to work with them and continue to provide money through (the Federal Emergency Management Agency), and reimbursements as we move forward.”

Officials from the White House confirmed that they had spoken with El Paso, but denied any request.

The official stated that although we didn’t make such a request, they did clarify that the Federal Government is ready to help El Paso in any way it can.

The administration is often in touch with border towns that are dealing with an increasing number of migrants. El Paso has experienced a surge in border crossers.

To help cities bordering the US and Mexico, the federal government provides funding to them to aid with border crossings. To provide additional resources, border cities and counties may declare a state or issue a disaster declaration.

Eric Adams, New York City’s Mayor, declared the State of Emergency this month in response to an increase in migrants coming to the city.

When asked about talks with the White House, Leeser stated in a statement that he does not “bow to pressure” from any side.

When faced with a humanitarian crisis at this scale, it is crucial to not only work with the federal government but also with regional elected leaders and other partners. Leeser stated that the federal government has been very supportive of me in raising issues similar to those I have raised.

“They have provided funding for reimbursement to the City of El Paso expenses incurred as we assisted. This is a federal issue, not a local one. The person making these claims doesn’t know me well. I won’t take any pressure from anyone. He said that he makes decisions based upon current circumstances and in the best interests of El Paso’s citizens.”

In late August, El Paso began sending migrants by bus to New York City. This was in response to the overwhelming number of migrants who were arriving in the city. El Paso has also sent buses full of migrants to New York City to assist the thousands of migrants that have been bused by Texas to New York City, Washington DC, Chicago, and Washington DC since August.

In recent weeks, thousands of Venezuelan migrants have made their way into El Paso, straining the city’s resources. The Biden administration announced last week that it would turn back Venezuelan migrants in a Trump-era Pandemic Restriction. This is expected to reduce the number of border crossings.

“At this time, the numbers have dropped and we are scaling back our operations. While reimbursement is still critical, declaring an emergency for staffing or support for charters is not required,” Mario D’Agostino (El Paso deputy city manager) said.

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