El Paso mayor ends border crisis presser by storming off stage, refuses to declare an emergency

El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser didn’t drop the mic at a press conference about the border crisis — he walked off with it.

El Paso, Texas, has become the epicenter of the nation’s border crisis, with more than 1,600 migrants released to the city’s local shelters and streets every day. Last weekend, that number spiked to a crippling 2,500 per day, the Daily Mail reports, but Leeser has refused to declare an emergency, even as Title 42, a Trump-era policy that restricted the number of migrants who could seek asylum in the States, is set to expire next week.

Speaking before the media on Thursday at El Paso City Hall, Leeser pointed to a promise of $6 million from the federal government to defend his decision.

“We were able to get the funding without having to [declare an emergency],” Leeser stated.

This, after one attendee noted reports of migrants literally crawling out of the sewers to reach the States.

The mayor is the only one who can declare a state of emergency in his city, and according to the New York Post, Leeser has previously admitted that the White House has asked him not to do it.

“I still urge the mayor… I know it’s to his discretion, but I still urge to [declare an emergency],” city council member Isabel Salcido said at the press conference.

In response, Leeser argued that an emergency declaration would do nothing to help El Paso secure funds.

And that’s when things got weird.

Deputy City Manager Mario D’Agostino begged to differ with the mayor, explaining that a “declaration allows the state to open additional funding outside of their normal budget.”

Rather than counter D’Agostino’s claim, Leeser snatched the microphone from the podium and took off with it, ending the press conference.


(Video: YouTube)

City council member Claudia Rodriguez says politics is getting in the way of solutions and reminds The Post that those promised funds are far from secure.

“There is no logical reason for him not to declare an emergency other than El Paso is the sixth largest city in the states of Texas and if El Paso declares an emergency, then that means that the border is not secure and there’s something bigger going on and the whole narrative of a ‘secure border’ falls apart,” she said.

Leeser, a Democrat, wants to keep Republican Governor Greg Abbott out of El Paso’s business.

“He has told me himself that the governor is very difficult to work with and that he’s going to come into El Paso and militarize the entire operation,” Rodriguez said.

Since August, El Paso has been swamped with migrants. Not only are resources stretched to the snapping point, the local government has been forced to shell out nearly $10 million to deal with it, and Leeser is hoping the city will be reimbursed.

“The $6 million is promised, but we have not yet received it,” Rodriquez explained. “We’re days away from Title 42 being lifted and I’m not sure what’s going to happen if we don’t receive those fundings.”

The City of El Paso is also looking to the State of Texas for funding, but without that emergency declaration from Leeser, there are no guarantees that it will receive the money.

 

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