Officials with the city of El Paso, Texas, are asking the Biden administration to use military bases to house illegal immigrants to relieve a strain on local resources as they prepare for the end of the public health expulsion order Title 42 on Dec. 21, El Paso Deputy City Manager Mario D’Agostino told the Daily Caller News Foundation Tuesday.
D’Agostino suggested that the military house the illegal immigrants on bases like Ft. Bliss as it previously did with Afghan refugees after the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is seeing nearly 2,500 illegal migrants crossing each day into El Paso and the surge is overwhelming the city’s ability to support those who crossed illegally, forcing many to sleep on the streets.
“What we have been saying to all of our federal partners is that this Title 42 going away, with the numbers we’re seeing today is a true emergency for the community. It’s a federal crisis that’s happening in the border of El Paso. With that, they’re gonna need to do some federal operation, maybe like what we saw with the Afghans,” D’Agostino told the DCNF.
The city accommodated CBP’s release of about 250 illegal migrants per day from custody in August.
The situation has also put local homeless shelters at capacity or over capacity, John Martin, deputy director for the Opportunity Center for the Homeless told the DCNF.
“We’re gonna need operations like that. If they’re already having apprehensions of 2,500 a day when Title 42 is in place, when that goes the number could go much higher,” he said.
However, the Department of Defense (DOD) has not received such requests from the Department of Homeland Security, Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Devin T. Robinson told the DCNF.
“As always, we stand by to receive and consider requests for support,” Robinson said.
With the current situation, the city expects to spend millions of dollars more of its funds with the hope that the federal government will pay it back.
El Paso is already awaiting a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reimbursement for over $5 million spent between July and September to support illegal immigrants and an additional $4.7 million for costs expected with the oncoming surge, the city said in an emailed statement to the DCNF.
Federal border authorities have seen an influx of illegal immigrants crossing throughout the southern border, encountering a record of more than 230,000 of them in fiscal year 2022.
The White House didn’t respond to a request for comment.
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