According to The Post, the White House exerted pressure on the Democratic mayor of El Paso, Texas, to refrain from declaring a state of emergency in response to the city’s migrant issue out of concern that it would reflect poorly on Vice President Biden.
According to individuals with knowledge of the situation, at least three of the eight members of the El Paso City Council have pushed Mayor Oscar Leeser to declare an emergency in response to the thousands of migrants who have occupied the city’s shelters and are staying in nearby hotels.
However, Leeser said in a confidential phone call last month that the Biden administration had given him instructions to do differently.
Rodriguez added that Leeser has informed her repeatedly that he would proclaim a state of emergency if circumstances deteriorated, but has never explained what that entails.
According to US Representative Tony Gonzales (R-Texas), who represents border cities and rural areas close to El Paso, other city officials have reported similar experiences.
Gonzales further claimed that the White House had taken similar actions in other areas of my district, where a sizable number of migrants had sought refuge.
Leeser also commended the federal government for giving crucial support to his city.
The White House has asked us not to do that at this time, and they’ll continue to work with us and give us money through [the] Federal Emergency Management Agency, Mayor Leeser said at a meeting of the City Council on September 27. Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) had urged him not to declare a State of Emergency.
According to data on El Paso’s official website, the federal government has only reimbursed the city $2 million of the $8 million it has spent on the migrant problem.
ElPasomatters.org reported in September that the city was spending up to $300,000 a day to house, feed, and transport asylum-seekers, suggesting that the overall cost may end up being significantly higher.