FederalImmigration & BorderIssuesLocal NewsCongresswoman Escobar Asks Biden for More Funding Amid El Paso Illegal Immigration Surge

Democrat Veronica Escobar of El Paso asked the Biden administration for “more resources for our local governments.”
December 13, 2022
Republican and Democratic elected officials are raising alarm over illegal immigration after a surge of unlawful crossings in El Paso this weekend.

Peter Jaquez, acting chief border patrol agent for the El Paso sector, tweeted on Monday, “Over the weekend, the El Paso Sector experienced a major surge in illegal crossings, with a 3-day average of 2,460 daily encounters, primarily through the downtown area of El Paso.”

There are reportedly 1,000 illegal immigrants roaming around downtown El Paso and others using the airport and other public spaces for shelter. The City of El Paso has asked for $7.25 million from the federal government to help respond to the surge.

In a statement on Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX-16) requested that the Biden administration provide more resources for the city’s response to the crisis.

“In the short-term, I am asking the Administration for more resources for our local governments and direct engagement in the form of federally-operated short-term emergency shelters for those migrants who have been released but need respite for 48 hours or less and bringing in federal personnel from other agencies to support its operations,” Escobar wrote.

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While she did not call on Biden to extend the use of Title 42, Escobar pointed to the impact of illegal immigration on the City of El Paso and other local jurisdictions and organizations.

“I am also once again calling on Congress to act. Decades of addressing immigration solely as a border issue, actively shrinking legal pathways, and failing to get beyond paralyzing gridlock has created a humanitarian crisis that is being unfairly shouldered by only a handful of communities like my own,” Escobar said.

The congresswoman added that the “last three decades should have taught us that deterrence isn’t a solution.”

Escobar opposed former President Trump’s strict measures against illegal immigration and has criticized Republicans for calling for more enforcement.

The City of El Paso had a program whereby noncitizens were bused to locations out-of-state, but it was ended after it was likened to Gov. Greg Abbott’s busing program. The governor’s program has resulted in more than 14,000 being transported to Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago, and Philadelphia.

In a letter on Tuesday, members of Congress on both sides of the aisle urged the Biden administration to extend the enforcement of expulsions under Title 42, which is set to end on December 21 by order of U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington, D.C.

“We have a crisis at our southern border. Never before in our nation’s history have we experienced this scope and scale of illegal border crossings, and we remain concerned that your administration has not provided sufficient support or resources to the men and women of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) who are tasked with maintaining border security,” they wrote.

The signers included Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Rep. Tony Gonzalez (R-TX-23), and Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28).

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas estimated earlier this year that there could be 18,000 enforcement encounters every day when the use of the public health order under Title 42 is ended.

Last week, Republicans proposed a border security framework that would include a focus on deterrence, including reinstating a version of Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy and increasing deportations.


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Hayden Sparks

Hayden Sparks is a senior reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."