Texas mayor walks away with microphone to avoid border questions

In a wild press conference, the mayor of El Paso, Texas — the current epicenter of the border crisis — ended a press conference by walking away with the microphone after being challenged by council members about why he would not declare a state of emergency.

During Thursday’s news conference at El Paso City Hall, Mayor Oscar Leeser announced that the federal government had pledged to advance the beleaguered city $6 million to help deal with the tidal wave of migrants it is currently grappling with.

“We were able to get the funding without having to do this [declare an emergency]’ Leeser claimed on Thursday.

However, sources told the Post there is no guarantee the millions of federal dollars will arrive in time to help it deal with a potential humanitarian crisis caused by the end of Title 42 — the COVID-19 policy of the Trump era kicking out 40% of illegal border crossers – December 21st.

El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser said the city would not declare a state of emergency. When asked about it, he ended the press conference and walked away with the microphone.

Councilwoman Claudia Rodriguez believes that politics is standing in the way of solving the problem. Leeser previously admitted the White House had asked him not to declare a state of emergency.

“There’s no logical reason for him not to declare a state of emergency other than that El Paso is the sixth largest city in the state of Texas and if El Paso declares a state of emergency it means the border isn’t secure and something bigger is afoot and that Whole narrative of a ‘safe border’ is falling apart,” Rodriguez told the Post.

In exclusive Post coverage, El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser admitted the White House had asked him not to declare a state of emergency over the border crisis.
El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser previously admitted the White House had asked him not to declare a state of emergency over the border crisis.
City of El Paso

Democrat Leeser also said he does not want to declare a state of emergency to keep Republican Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott from interfering in El Paso’s handling of the situation.

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

Migrant asylum seekers stand near the border wall after crossing the Rio Bravo River to face US Border Patrol agents to seek asylum in El Paso, Texas, USA, as seen from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico seen
The influx came as the US government braced for a 40 percent increase in border crossings related to the upcoming repeal of Title 42.
REUTERS

The city is currently seeing 2,500 migrant arrests a day – a number that could double to 5,000 when Title 42 ends.

El Paso has grappled with a surge in migrants since August that has drained local resources and cost the local government nearly $10 million, which it hopes will eventually be reimbursed.

“The $6 million is promised but we haven’t received it yet,” Rodriquez said. “We’re just days away from Title 42 being repealed and I’m not sure what will happen if we don’t get those funds.”

Councilwoman Claudia Rodriguez claimed the Biden administration pressured El Paso not to declare a state of emergency.
Councilwoman Claudia Rodriguez believes that politics is standing in the way of solving the problem.
Aaron Montes/USA TODAY NETWORK

Although the City of El Paso is also approaching the State of Texas for funding, those funds are also not guaranteed unless the city declares an emergency. Only the mayor can do that.

During the press conference, City Councilor Isabel Salcido said, “I still urge the mayor … I know it’s at his discretion, but I still urge to[declareanemergency”[einenNotfallzuerklären“[declareanemergency”

Leeser took to the podium and claimed a declaration of emergency would make no difference when it comes to helping El Paso get money.

Two city council members and the assistant city manager fought back the mayor's false claims that a state of emergency would not help El Paso.
Two city council members and the assistant city manager fought back the mayor’s false claims that a state of emergency would not help El Paso.
YouTube/City of El Paso Texas

Deputy City Manager Mario D’Agostino disagreed, noting how this would unlock additional funding streams.

“This declaration allows the state to allocate additional funds outside of its normal budget,” explained D’Agostino.

However, as soon as D’Agostino finished his speech, the mayor removed the microphone from the podium, did not allow anyone else to speak, and ended the meeting.

https://nypost.com/2022/12/16/texas-mayor-walks-off-with-mic-to-avoid-border-questions/ Texas mayor walks away with microphone to avoid border questions

JACLYN DIAZ

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