On the eve of the expiration of the Title 42 policy, El Paso leaders revealed the Texas border city is ready to bus more migrants to the Big Apple and other major cities across the US.
El Paso’s mayor and deputy city manager confirmed to The Post Wednesday their city has the buses warmed up, but are holding off on sending off asylum seekers until more arrive.
The plan by El Paso officials comes as New York City, faced with its own struggles to care for migrants already in the five boroughs, said it will relocate existing asylum seekers to jurisdictions in other parts of the Empire State.
“We do have the transportation set up, but we have not activated transportation,” El Paso Deputy City Manager Mario D’Agostino said.
“There might be a time when we have to operationalize that – everything’s ready, we just don’t have the demand at the time.”
Countless buses from Texas have already driven migrants to New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and other major cities over the last year as the country faces an unprecedented number of migrants crossing over the southern border under the Biden administration.
With Title 42, a Trump-era rule tied to COVID that allowed officials to quickly expel migrants from some countries without hearing asylum claims, set to end Thursday, the influx of people is only expected to grow.
The arrivals of thousands of newcomers have strained Gotham’s resources, NYC Mayor Eric Adams has said numerous times as he has pleaded for federal help. The city is now trying to send hundreds of migrants from city shelters to hotels in upstate Rockland and Orange counties.
El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser, a Democrat, said he would continue to send migrants to New York if they want to go regardless of the city’s situation, noting many want to live in major market areas.
“It’s not because we want them to go there,” Leeser said. “It’s not because someone has pushed them there. They want to live that American dream and be able to go through the legal process and work there.”
He said Adams, a Democrat, learned firsthand how migrants want to live in five boroughs during a January trip to the border.
“He talked to a lot of the migrants and he asked, he point asked them, he says, ‘Where do you want to go?’ They said, ‘New York,’” Leeser said.
“And he said, ‘Why would you want to go to New York,’ and they said, ‘Because we saw it on TV and we feel that that’s somewhere we want to make a life,” Leeser continued. “There’s an opportunity there for us. It’s a big opportunity for us to be able to feed our family, be able to start our journey here.’”
El Paso officials said Border Patrol has about 6,000-7,000 migrants in custody at the moment.
More than 28,000 people were in custody as of Wednesday, a Department of Homeland Security official told CNN.
Up to 35,000 migrants are waiting to cross into El Paso from Mexico’s Ciudad Juarez and another 16,000 are waiting to enter San Diego from Tijuana, according to data obtained from The Post.
“I can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel,” Leeser said of the border crisis, adding. “We can’t say the worst is over.”
Two empty schools that have been converted into shelters are also at the ready, El Paso officials said.
“Until the federal government starts agreeing to disagree and come up with some type of federal agreement, some kind of law, that’s going to help communities like El Paso and all the way up the southern border — it’s going to be a tough go every day. We still need to continue to prepare for the unknown,” Leeser said.
“You’ve seen the numbers decline (in El Paso,) you’ve seen the numbers go down, but we don’t know what’s coming in the next day. We don’t know what’s coming in the next 10 days.”
The post El Paso ready to bus more migrants to NYC as Title 42 end looms appeared first on New York Post.