Congresswoman Escobar Statement on Recent Migrant Arrivals
El Paso, TX, December 13, 2022
Today, Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16) released the following statement on recent migrant arrivals in El Paso’s border sector:
“The extraordinarily high numbers of migrants arriving daily in El Paso has created an unprecedented strain on our community and requires significantly more federal resources as well as a broader, whole-of-government response. Our local governments have been strained as they are asked to perform functions outside their normal operations, NGOs are doing the best they can, and our CBP personnel have been stressed beyond anything they have ever experienced to date. While I am extremely grateful to the Biden Administration for the millions of dollars they have provided El Paso in financial support, in both up-front funding and reimbursements, as well as their ongoing work with neighboring countries to address root causes, that long-overdue work will not bear fruit immediately. In the short-term, I am asking the Administration for more resources for our local governments and direct engagement in the form of federally-operated short-term emergency shelters for those migrants who have been released but need respite for 48 hours or less and bringing in federal personnel from other agencies to support its operations.
“Last night, I spoke with House Appropriations Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro about this idea and requested its inclusion in the final FY23 omnibus funding package. Additionally, this morning I spoke with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Mayorkas, who assured me that El Paso’s funding requests are being favorably and expeditiously processed.
“I am also once again calling on Congress to act. Decades of addressing immigration solely as a border issue, actively shrinking legal pathways, and failing to get beyond paralyzing gridlock has created a humanitarian crisis that is being unfairly shouldered by only a handful of communities like my own. It is in our own self-interest as a nation that Congress do its job and legislate. While the Administration may look to utilizing policies that focus on deterrence, I am again warning that the last three decades should have taught us that deterrence isn’t a solution.
“Finally, it is critically important that as a nation, we rise to the tremendous challenge that we are facing on immigration today and that we do it in a way that both preserves our security and upholds our values. We need not sacrifice our humanitarian values in order to address the overwhelming challenge we must confront. I remain committed to ensuring El Paso gets the resources we need, asking our local leaders to work collaboratively, advocating for relief for our agents, treating the vulnerable among us with the dignity we would want for ourselves, and working with my colleagues in Congress on legislative solutions.”