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White House Tried to Keep Border Town Mayor Quiet

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Migrants walk after being detained by U.S. Border Patrol agents after crossing into the U.S. from Mexico to turn themselves in to request for asylum. | Image by REUTERS

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The Biden administration reportedly pressured the Democrat mayor of El Paso to refrain from declaring a state of emergency over the city’s migrant crisis, fearing it would tarnish the president’s image.

At least three of the eight El Paso City Council members have allegedly urged Mayor Oscar Leeser to declare a state of emergency due to the thousands of migrants overwhelming the city’s shelters and more being released out into the streets, with some being housed in local hotels.

Declaring a state of emergency would make the City and County eligible for more state and federal funding to open additional shelters. Between April and mid-September this year, more than 62,000 migrants crossed the southern border at El Paso alone.

The mayor reportedly admitted during a private phone conversation last month that the White House directed him not to issue a state of emergency.

“He told me the White House asked him not to,” said Councilmember Claudia Rodriguez, according to one report.

Rodriguez reportedly said Leeser reassured her that he would declare a state of emergency “if things got worse” but failed to disclose what “worse” meant.

U.S. Representative Tony Gonzales (R-Texas), whose district covers rural areas and border towns near El Paso, said he heard similar reports from other city officials.

“It is a sleight of hand, what the administration is doing — pressuring the local government to not issue a declaration of emergency … as if everything is going OK,” he claimed.

Gonzales alleged that the Biden administration has done “the same thing in other parts of [his] district,” which have also seen a significant influx of migrants.

“I don’t bow to pressure from any side,” Leeser said in a prepared statement. “I make decisions based on current circumstances and in the best interest of the citizens of El Paso.”

During a city council meeting on September 27, the mayor said Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) urged him not to declare a state of emergency. In addition, “The White House has asked, at this point, for us not to do that.”

He added, “They’ll continue to work with us and continue to give us … money through [the] Federal Emergency Management Agency.”

The City of El Paso had reportedly spent over $8 million addressing the migrant crisis, but the federal government had said to expect only $2 million at this stage.

Another report stated the City’s spending on the migrant issue had reached $300,000 per day.

“I don’t think anybody’s expecting relief anytime soon,” said Robert Cortinas, the city’s chief financial officer, in September.

“Obviously, we’ve been in close contact with the federal government” regarding the issues surrounding the migrant crisis, he said, “but I don’t think anybody’s expecting it to get better anytime soon.”

Mayor Leeser has said that most of the migrants inundating El Paso originate from Venezuela. Last week, the U.S. and Mexican governments announced a deal in which many Venezuelans who unlawfully enter the United States will be deported to Mexico.

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Terri Amaro
Terri Amaro
1 month ago

Corrupt Dems as usual!!! So, Mr. Biden thinks this will help his party hold control of the Senate and House during the mid term elections. Think again, the red tsunami is about to hit!!!!

Janet
Janet
Reply to  Terri Amaro
1 month ago

Corrupt Dems? Seems like Biden is using the Republican playbook to deflect and buy time to influence voters. Republicans should look in the mirror, and remember all the indicted, convicted members of the Trump administration if they are TRULY concerned about corruption. But as usual, they are great at pointing fingers, but never have any solutions. If it is true and there IS a Red tsunami, God help us!

H s
H s
1 month ago

Send these to “Betos” house !!!