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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

El Paso: When Title 42 ends, ‘all Latin America will be coming here’

El Paso: When Title 42 ends, 'all Latin America will be coming here'

EL PASO, Texas — Hours before a Louisiana federal judge ordered the Biden administration to keep the Title 42 health authority, El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego met with officials from the Department of Homeland Security and discussed how they described as a “crisis”. ,

“Right now, Title 42 will be difficult for us … if it is lifted,” Samaneigo told The Post.

On Friday night, US District Judge Robert Summerhays ruled that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had improperly ordered the lifting of Title 42, a federal health policy that has killed nearly 2 million immigrants in the country since the start of COVID-19. kept out of. Epidemic in America.

The authorization was set to expire on Monday, and Republican attorneys general of 24 states, including Texas, argued that cities like El Paso would be overrun with immigrants more than they could handle.

While the nationwide prohibition of Summerhage was welcomed in El Paso and other border towns, Title 42 would expire at some point. Even with the authorisation, the number of border crossing attempts had reached a record high.

A judge ruled Friday to stay in place of Title 42, welcome to border cities like El Paso, Texas.
Universal Image Group via Getty Images

Earlier this week, DHS reported that the number of migrant encounters at the US-Mexico border rose to 234,088 in April – the highest in the agency’s history. Under Title 42, less than 97,000 people were summarily expelled and more than 110,000 were left in the US. About 30,000 of those encounters were recorded by Border Patrol agents in the El Paso sector, making it the third busiest enforcement area along the border.

With the prospect of hundreds of thousands of migrants trying to cross the border (a widely reported estimate by DHS suggested as many as 18,000 per day) local officials scrambled for sites large enough to capture the expected arrivals. Killed. At one meeting, Samaniego built Sun Bowl Stadium as a possible location for a shelter.

There were other practical considerations to keep in mind as well. Local governments had to figure out how to get more volunteers to process immigrants arriving in El Paso bound for the interior of the US. The county judge also said Friday that his office was looking into a machine that could convert dollar bills into a makeshift credit card, so cash-carrying immigrants who intend to leave El Paso can visit the airport. You can buy plane tickets here.

Sun Bowl Stadium
The El Paso, Texas, Sun Bowl is poised as the prospect of a temporary shelter amid an influx of immigrants.
Chris Coduto/Getty Images

What El Paso doesn’t want is dozens of immigrants dumped on the streets, Samnego acknowledged.

“Optics is very hard. Communities are like panic,” he said. “They think it is not safe anymore. El Paso is really developing into a place you want to visit. Tourism has started developing. People always comment how you don’t see the homeless on the streets. So we are going to go beyond that and see people sleeping on the streets.”

El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego
El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego called the possible dropping of Title 42 an imminent “crisis”.
El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego

But immigrants are already a part of life in El Paso. At one of the area’s most famous restaurants, illegal immigrants ran behind free-range chicken coops as the Border Patrol followed on Friday morning.

Eventually, 15 immigrants were taken into custody in the parking lot of the Desert Crossing in Ardovino. In the shadow of the border wall, El Pasoans will sip on prickly pear mimosa and dine on duck egg chilaquiles for brunch as border patrol agents watch for illegal crossers just a few yards away.

Alejandro Huerta lives less than a mile from the restaurant. His home is at the foot of Mount Cristo Rey, a mountain that separates El Paso from Mexico.

“What haven’t I seen in my years here?” Huerta told The Post Friday. “What comes to mind are two women who recently came down the hill – completely naked, crying and humping.”

Huerta, born in Mexico and speaking to The Post in Spanish, says the women crossed the border by going up the mountain, where criminals have been known to lie in wait and hunt immigrants. Huerta says the women were robbed, stripped and raped. He and his wife dressed them up and called the Border Patrol.

Over the past year, Huerta said, she has seen more and more immigrants stop on their front steps to ask for water when it’s hot and a cup of coffee when it’s cold.

“What I know about Title 42 is that people have a right to seek asylum. Now, whether the (US) government grants them asylum is a different story,” Huerta said. ) ends, the whole of Latin America will be here.”

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