As local officials in El Paso, Texas were urging the mayor to formally declare a state of emergency over the number of illegal migrants crossing into the city over the U.S. southern border, the White House was reportedly pressuring the mayor to not do so.
Multiple members of El Paso’s City Council have advised Mayor Oscar Leeser to issue an emergency declaration, following thousands of migrants who have entered the city and are being released onto the streets by Border Patrol and non-profit centers that do not have the resources to house them.
Councilmember Claudia Rodriguez told the New York Post that Leeser admitted on a private phone call that the Biden administration directly pressured him.
“He told me the White House asked him not to,” Rodriguez said.
U.S. Congressional Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-Texas), whose district includes areas near El Paso, told The Post he has heard similar stories from other local officials.
“It is a sleight of hand what the administration is doing — pressuring the local government to not issue a declaration of emergency, to say as if everything is going OK,” Gonzales said.
In a formal statement to The Post, Leeser declined to bowing to pressure from either side and said he makes decisions “based on current circumstances and in the best interest of the citizens of El Paso.”
Since Biden has been president, more than 4.9 million illegal aliens have crossed into the U.S. across the southern border.
El Paso, which sits right across the border from the Mexican city Juarez, saw a 261 percent increase for single adult migrant encounters in Fiscal Year 2021.
“We’ve never seen anything like this,” Gonzales told The Post in a separate interview from early September.
“It’s a scene that you would see in a third-world country, not in the streets of El Paso. Everything that I’ve been told and every indication tells me that we haven’t seen the worst yet,” he said. “I was having regular conversations with the White House a few months ago, and now, we really aren’t having any conversations. Just when you think [things] can’t get any worse, they get worse. “