The city of El Paso is considering a plan to declare a state of emergency over immigration, an official told The Post Thursday.
The emergency declaration, which the city council will vote on next week, would allow the west Texas city to receive state and federal funds to address the border crisis. It would then go to the mayor for approval.
The city is also working with Congresswoman Veronica Escobar to secure additional federal resources and various government agencies are looking at possible sites that could be used to provide temporary shelter for immigrants.
Asylum-seeking immigrants have already started flooding the border city in west Texas.
More than 100 immigrants were released onto the streets of downtown El Paso on Sunday after both the Border Patrol processing center and non-profit shelters ran out of space to house them.
The head of El Paso’s network of immigrant shelters Ruben Garcia told The Post that immigrant families with young children could end up on the streets of El Paso if more shelter space isn’t added soon.
“I’m hoping the federal government will rise to the occasion,” said Garcia, while calling on the federal government, the city and the county of El Paso to work quickly to add more resources to avert a humanitarian disaster.
The strain on local resources is only expected to get worse when Title 42 is lifted as it could be on May 23, depending on a judge’s ruling. Title 42 is a federal health policy that has been used to keep nearly 1.7 million immigrants from entering the US at the border. Garcia estimated about 60% of those trying to enter the country are expelled due to Title 42. Without Title 42, El Paso will see a tsunami of people crossing the border.
“If Title 42 is lifted, you’re going to see a wave and it’s clearly going to surpass what NGO’s can do,” said Garcia.