EL PASO, TEXAS – A city leader in El Paso, Texas, warns that migration to the city cannot be a “free for all” and calls for policy changes in Washington – while saying that a last-minute block from the Biden administration’s parole policy may have prevented a bigger push in the region.
Mario D’Agostino, the city’s deputy director for public health and safety, told Fox News Digital on Friday that it still felt like the “calm before the storm” after the Title 42 public health order expired on Thursday. .
“We know there was more [1,700], nearly 1,800 Border Patrol arrests in the El Paso area yesterday alone. We know their processing center is over capacity. There are well over 6,000 detainees right now. And so these figures will see a debit, they will be published. And so we’ll see those numbers coming in throughout the weekend,” he said.
Daily migrant encounters had passed the 10,000 border-wide mark before the end of Title 42, but there are indications that the number did not increase further after the order ended later Thursday . There were fears there could be a further surge once the order – which allowed the rapid deportation of migrants at the border – ended, as migrants believe they are more likely to be admitted to the UNITED STATES.
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D’Agostino said he believes the city, which saw thousands of migrants camping along the street earlier this week, saw fewer migrants after a federal judge blocked the Biden administration from releasing migrants inside with no court date Thursday evening. decision. Florida had sought a temporary restraining order on the policy, and it was granted for two weeks by a federal judge.
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“Last night they suspended the decision where they couldn’t do quick parole,” D’Agostino said. “Fast parole means people are released much faster than normal. And that’s where it really weighs on the city. So with that gone, I think that’s why we see it today with fewer numbers. I think if there hadn’t been a stay that night, we’d be seeing a lot of them unpacking their shelters right now.”
He said people arriving in border towns like El Paso mostly want to get away from the border to places like the East Coast and will go deeper inland. He said policy changes were needed from Washington to deal with the influx of migrants who are showing up in such large numbers.
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“There has to be policy changes at the federal level, they have to come together and they have to make policy changes in order to control the flow,” D’Agostino said. “While I understand that people want to come to America, they want it hot. They want this piece of the American dream. I totally understand that. But there has to be an orderly process for that.”
He noted the people camping in the streets and the health and sanitation issues associated with that.
“Getting in is not just child’s play,” D’Agostino said. “There has to be a process.”
He pointed out that migrants often do not have court dates for years and may not be able to work during that time, which undermines migrants’ ability to be self-reliant.
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“IIt is a concern, it is a concern for the safety not only of the migrants themselves, but of the community as a whole. And so, yeah, I think it’s time for those policy changes,” D’Agostino said.
Fox News’ Isabelle McDonnell contributed to this report.