Biden administration pressured El Paso mayor to not declare state of emergency

For all of the talk we hear about the Biden border crisis (unless you’re watching CNN or MSNBC, of course), some areas on the southern border might not be doing as badly as we’d suspected. Take, for example, El Paso, Texas. Yes, the numbers from that region seem rather grim if you’re just looking at the raw figures of border apprehensions and “gotaways.” The number of migrants crossing into that area just this year numbers well into the tens of thousands and as of last month, the shelters were all beyond capacity.

Members of the City Council had been urging Mayor Oscar Leeser (D) to declare a state of emergency so the city could qualify for additional federal funding to try to manage the situation. But the mayor declined to do so. 

And since it isn’t really an “emergency” situation, it can’t be all that bad, right? But as it turns out, Leeser had a different reason for not issuing the emergency declaration. The White House asked him not to do so and he complied with the Biden administration’s wishes. 

The White House pressured the Democratic mayor of El Paso, Texas, to not declare a state of emergency over the city’s migrant crisis due to fear it would make President Biden look bad, The Post has learned.

At least three members of the El Paso City Council have urged Mayor Oscar Leeser to issue an emergency declaration in response to the thousands of migrants who’ve filled the city’s shelters and are being housed in local hotels, sources familiar with the matter said.

But Leeser admitted during a private phone conversation last month that he’d been directed otherwise by the Biden administration, one of the officials said.

The only reason we know this is that at least one City Council member, Claudia Rodriguez, told reporters that she had asked the Mayor why there wasn’t an emergency declaration being made. “He told me the White House asked him not to,” she said.

Congressman Tony Gonzalez (R) whose district covers parts of this region said this wasn’t an isolated incident. He’s heard from other local legislators from towns along the border who said the same thing. They are missing out on federal funding because the White House is pressuring them not to declare a state of emergency until after the midterm elections.

It wasn’t just the White House applying this pressure. During a City Council meeting last month, Mayor Leeser stated that Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) had also told him that it would be better if he didn’t declare a state of emergency, citing the wishes of the White House.

So this is how completely politicized the situation has become. While much of the media has cooperated in ignoring the Biden border crisis, the White House has been actively working to prevent elected officials from its own party from seeking federal funding to avoid any bad optics ahead of the midterm elections. In El Paso, the municipal government has thus far provided two million dollars in assistance while the costs to the city created by dealing with this crisis have already surpassed eight million.

But apparently, their budget doesn’t matter if it means that the Biden administration can avoid another bad headline about the border crisis. The fact that so many people are literally sleeping in the streets and parks because there is no room at the shelters isn’t of any concern to them either.

We’re talking about heavily Hispanic districts where the Democrats have traditionally overperformed as compared to the rest of Texas. But now they’re getting a first-hand look at what the national Democratic leadership really thinks about them. They are left to fend for themselves so long as the result is yet another chance at pulling in a few more votes. It’s no wonder that Hispanic support for Democrats along the border has been plummeting. Only a few years ago we repeatedly heard boasts on the left suggesting that they were close to turning Texas blue. At the moment, it’s looking redder than ever.

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