EL PASO, Texas — The nation’s prime border official blamed Republican governors for drawing extra migrants to the U.S. by promising them free bus rides north to locations like New York, Washington, D.C., and Martha’s Winery, Massachusetts.
Customs and Border Safety Commissioner Chris Magnus mentioned in an interview that in some circumstances, the governors of Texas, Arizona and Florida are “mendacity” to migrants about what alternatives may await them in these cities and that it’s “luring” others to come back to the U.S.
Homeland Safety Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas additionally criticized Republican governors for sending migrants to different cities in an interview with José Díaz-Balart on MSNBC.
“When a governor acts unilaterally and refuses to coordinate with different authorities officers, that’s when issues come up. And that’s after we deplore political stuntsmanship after we’re coping with the lives of weak people,” Mayorkas mentioned.
Magnus and Mayorkas spoke from El Paso, the place Border Patrol launched almost 1,300 migrants onto the streets from Sept. 7 to Sept. 15 as a result of shelters had been too full to take them in. Since Aug. 23, the town’s Democratic mayor has bused over 3,400 migrants to cities like Chicago and New York.
Magnus mentioned that regardless of the releases and the busing of migrants to Northern cities, the Border Patrol is managing the inflow.
“Individuals throughout the nation ought to know that it’s not chaos right here,” Magnus mentioned. “Individuals which might be coming into our custody listed here are then processed, and plenty of of them are looking for asylum. So if a few of them are launched into the nation, they’re doing so legally, they nonetheless have a date to look for an asylum listening to.”
He mentioned a big proportion of the inhabitants coming throughout the border now’s from Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba, international locations that refuse to take their residents again if the U.S. tries to deport them.
Over the previous yr, the variety of Venezuelans, Nicaraguans and Cubans crossing the U.S.-Mexico border has risen by 175%, in response to Customs and Border Safety information.
In El Paso, every day border encounters with undocumented migrants have averaged 1,500 a day since Sept. 1, with 618 on common coming from Venezuela, in response to Customs and Border Safety information from the El Paso sector.
El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser mentioned the town’s shelters are full, which is why he, like Republican governors, has begun busing migrants out of the town.
Leeser mentioned he wants the federal authorities to assist “decompress” the migrant inhabitants in his metropolis so his shelters are not full.
He mentioned solely about 50% of migrants arriving from Venezuela have relations who can sponsor them within the U.S., in comparison with 95% of Central People who know somebody they may stick with whereas they await their immigration hearings.
In contrast to Republican governors, Leeser is notifying cities that might be receiving migrants from El Paso.
“That they had no cash to go,” mentioned Leeser, who sees offering free transportation to migrants as a humanitarian mission. “We wish to make it possible for we take folks and deal with folks the way in which you’ll wish to be handled.”
Jenny Espinoza not too long ago arrived in El Paso from Venezuela and was taken by the town to a close-by motel the place over 100 different migrants had been spending the night time. She mentioned she had solely the garments she was sporting and didn’t know the place her subsequent meal would come from.
Later that night time, one among Jenny’s roommates mentioned through a WhatsApp message that they had been going to mattress hungry as there had not been sufficient meals distributed among the many migrants for them to eat.