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Texas mayor sounds alarms as migration crisis reaches ‘breaking point’ in El Paso

Migrants sleep on the street after being released from U.S. Border Patrol custody in downtown El Paso, Texas, U.S., September 12, 2023. — Reuters/File

The mayor of Texas revealed Saturday that the city of El Paso has reached “a breaking point” due to the huge surge in migrants entering the country from Mexico, with more than 2,000 people applying for asylum each day, filling up shelters, and taxing resources.

Texas Mayor Oscar Leeser stated at a news conference that “the city of El Paso only has so many resources and we have come to … a breaking point right now.”

A larger influx of immigrants has already arrived, mostly from Venezuela, travelling hazardous routes on buses and cargo trains, to border communities in Mexico close to San Diego, California, and the Texas cities of El Paso and Eagle Pass.

Following a recent decline in migrant numbers, President Joe Biden is now the target of a new round of political criticism as the US prepares for the 2024 election.

Leeser announced that El Paso would be opening a new shelter and that on Saturday, five buses had been chartered to transport migrants to New York, Chicago, and Denver.

Republican governors in Texas and Florida have come under fire for relocating people to liberal areas like New York and Sacramento.

However, the migrants on the El Paso buses, according to Democrat Leeser, were all travelling voluntarily to the places of their choice.

Although Leeser appreciated Biden being a good partner, he criticised the US immigration system saying that the overall US immigration system was “broken,” Reuters reported.

He claimed that many Venezuelan migrants lacked the means of transportation to reach their final destinations and that the 400 people who currently reside in El Paso’s shelter must also be accessible to assist the city’s homeless population.

About 350 to 400 people were entering El Paso each day six weeks ago, but during the past several days, 2,000 or more have entered.

According to Leeser, the city has collaborated with the US Border Patrol to house 6,500 migrants over the course of the last 10 days.

About two-thirds of those crossing into El Paso currently are single men, he said. About 32% are families and just 2% are unaccompanied children.

“I think it’s really important to note that we have a broken immigration system,” he said. “It’s the same thing over and over again.”

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