El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser issued the warning during a press conference. The briefing followed the city's declaration of a state of emergency amid an influx of illegal immigrants released in El Paso. According to officials, many of the illegal aliens are sleeping in downtown streets amid freezing temperatures.
"We've been talking to some of the partners in Mexico. We're also talking to the Border Patrol and those are the numbers that have been fed back to us," said Leeser, a Democrat. "The shelters in [Ciudad] Juarez are completely full today, and they believe there are about 20,000 people ready to come into El Paso." (Related: Governors warn of 'total chaos' from unprecedented wave of illegal immigrants if Title 42 is permanently lifted.)
According to the mayor, his declaration of a state of emergency sought to help deal with the increased number of illegal aliens by granting the city more resources and authority to shelter them. He added that his office has been working with local agencies to ensure that El Paso is prepared. In line with this, Leeser also confirmed that an emergency operations center will also be opened to help manage the situation.
"We know that the influx … will be incredible," Leeser remarked. "I said from the beginning that I would call it when I felt that either our asylum-seekers or our community was not safe. I really believe that today, our asylum-seekers are not safe as we have hundreds and hundreds on the streets. That's not the way we want to treat people."
According to Customs and Border Protection data shared with the Epoch Times, there were 70,288 illegal aliens apprehended in El Paso and Del Rio – two of the busiest sectors along the border – between Dec. 1 through Dec. 19. There were also 28,913 "getaways," or illegal aliens who evaded law enforcement, for the two sectors during the same period.
First announced by former President Donald Trump in March 2020, Title 42 allowed Border Patrol agents to deport illegal aliens back to their country immediately if they were deemed to pose a health threat. It was put in place during the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and had been used since its announcement to expel illegals.
However, a federal judge ruled on Nov. 16 that Title 42 was unlawful. The said decision also ordered the Biden administration to end the policy on Dec. 21. In response, several Republican states – including Arizona, Louisiana and Texas – filed a motion seeking to stay the order ending Title 42.
A federal appeals court denied the motion on Dec. 16, forcing Chief Justice John Roberts to step in. He sided with the GOP states in a brief order halting the end of Title 42, and asked the Biden administration to respond to the state's motion. Roberts' order meant that the policy remains in effect until the Supreme Court justices rule on the emergency motion.
The Department of Homeland Security acknowledged the chief justice's order in a statement.
"As required by the Supreme Court's administrative stay order, the Title 42 public health order will remain at this time. Individuals who attempt to enter the U.S. unlawfully will continue to be expelled to Mexico," the department said.
"While this stage of the litigation proceeds, we will continue our preparations to manage the border in a safe, orderly and humane way when the Title 42 public health order lifts."
Visit InvasionUSA.news for more stories about America's migrant crisis.
Watch this footage from Fox News showing the surge of illegals at the southern border's El Paso sector.
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