‘We’re not even at the worst of it yet’: Congressman shares video of ‘extreme overcrowding’ at border processing center

Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-Texas) says the situation at the border is “dire” and, with Title 42 set to expire on Wednesday, “we’re not even at the worst of it yet.”

The congressman shared on Twitter a video shot on Friday that he provided to Fox News, showing the “extreme overcrowding” at the Border Patrol Central Processing Center in El Paso where 4,600 migrants were “in federal custody.”

The center is equipped to handle just 1,040 people, Fox News reporter Bill Melugin noted.

“A reminder, DHS [Department of Homeland Security] does not allow media into these Border Patrol facilities, so the only way we are able to see images like this are through leaks or members of Congress who visit and are willing to share photos/videos, like @RepTonyGonzales did in this case,” Melugin added.

Gonzales, whose district spans more than 800 miles along the West Texas border with Mexico, appeared on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday to discuss the mounting crisis, which he says transcends party politics.

“What I saw shocked me and I wanted to share that with the world,” he said. “It’s not about politics. It’s not about you know, trying to create this image that isn’t there.”

“This is the reality,” he stated. “This is the facts. We’re not even at the worst of it yet.”

(Video: YouTube)

The images are, indeed, shocking.

Five hundred migrants line the walls and cover the floors in a “pod” meant to hold just a hundred people. Just one bathroom is available for all 500 to share.

And, according to Gonzales, these are “the good conditions.”

In an attempt to get ahead of Title 42’s expiration, which will lift the restrictions former President Donald Trump put in place for asylum seekers during the COVID-19 pandemic, El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser finally declared a state of emergency on Saturday, citing an inability to keep his community safe.

“I said from the beginning that I would call it when I felt that either our asylum seekers or community were not safe,” Leeser said during the Saturday press conference, “and I really believe that today, our asylum seekers are not safe, as we have hundreds and hundreds on the streets, and that’s not the way we want to treat people.”

According to the embattled mayor, the effect of lifting Title 42 will be “huge.”

“We know the influx on Wednesday [December 21] will be incredible it will be huge,” he said. “On Wednesday our numbers will go from 2,500 [migrants entering El Paso per day] to 4,000, 5,000, maybe 6,000.”

Leeser’s declaration is something typically reserved for natural disasters, Gonzales said.

“It is a dire situation in El Paso,” he said. “As you know, the city declared a state of emergency.”

“This is something you do when there’s a hurricane, a fire, or an earthquake,” he continued. “What is happening is, it’s a hurricane of migrants and everyone is impacted.”

On Tuesday, Gonzales, as part of a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers, called on President Joe Biden in a letter to extend Title 42, the Daily Mail reports.

“We have a crisis at our southern border,” the letter reads. “Never before in our nation’s history have we experienced this scope and scale of illegal border crossings, and we remain concerned that your administration has not provided sufficient support or resources to the men and women of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) who are tasked with maintaining border security.”

“While admittedly imperfect,” it continues, “termination of the CDC’s Title 42 order at this time will result in a complete loss of operational control over the southern border, a profoundly negative impact on border communities, and significant suffering and fatalities among the migrants unlawfully entering the United States.”

Melissa Fine


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