A Texas mayor is sounding the alarm amid a dramatic spike in migrants crossing the U.S. border, saying his city has reached a “breaking point.”
“The city of El Paso only has so many resources and we have come to… a breaking point right now,” El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser, a Democrat, said at a news conference Saturday.
Leeser’s comments come as El Paso has faced over 2,000 migrants per day crossing the border and seeking asylum in the city, putting a strain on resources and overflowing the available shelter space.
“So, this is something that we’ve been prepared for, but these numbers have really escalated a lot quicker than we ever anticipated,” he added.
The city is just one of several border cities in Texas and California facing a surge in mostly Venezuelan asylum seekers, according to a Reuters report, with many taking dangerous routes on buses and cargo trains to reach the U.S. border.
Leeser said the city plans to open a new shelter, though on Saturday El Paso chartered five buses to move migrants to cities such as New York, Chicago and Denver. The mayor said the migrants were being moved to the city of their choice, with many lacking transportation to get to their preferred destinations while El Paso’s shelter capacity currently can only host 400 people and also has to serve the city’s homeless population.
Leeser’s office did not immediately respond to a Fox News request for comment.
The spike to over 2,000 migrants per day is a dramatic change from just six weeks ago when they were only seeing about 350 to 400 people crossing into El Paso daily. The surge has forced the city to work with the U.S. Border Patrol to find space, with the city and agency teaming up over the last 10 days to provide shelter to about 6,500 people.
Leeser said roughly two-thirds of those arriving in El Paso are single men, while 32% are families and about 2% are unaccompanied children.
“I think it’s really important to note that we have a broken immigration system,” Leeser said. “It’s the same thing over and over again.”
The White House and U.S. Customs and Border Protection did not immediately respond to a Fox News request for comment.
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