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Texas border city may stop busing migrants to sanctuary cities

Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

El Paso may stop sending migrant buses to sanctuary cities due to the Biden administration's recent policy change, a Texas official told the New York Post.

Oscar Leeser, the Democrat mayor of El Paso, has been busing migrants to New York City since August to help with the influx of new illegal arrivals. Leeser reached a deal with his Democrat counterpart, Mayor Eric Adams, to send approximately 200 migrants daily to the sanctuary city.

El Paso's busing program with NYC is separate from Texas Governor Greg Abbott's action.

Despite the agreement with Leeser, Adams repeatedly complained about the flood of migrants arriving in New York City. He blamed Abbott for overwhelming city shelters and subsequently declared a state of emergency. However, according to the New York Post, only one in five migrants arriving in NYC were sent by Abbott.

El Paso Deputy City Manager Mario D'Agostino told the news outlet that the city may end the busing program and credited the Biden administration's new deal with Mexico, which grants the U.S. the ability to send back asylum-seeking Venezuelans.

On Wednesday, the administration declared that it would allow another 24,000 Venezuelan migrants to enter the United States via air travel. In exchange, Mexican officials have agreed to "temporarily" allow the U.S. to return illegal Venezuelan migrants to Mexico.

Before the deal's announcement, El Paso sent approximately nine to 14 buses to New York City daily, but now only sends four to eight buses daily.

"We realize that we won't need the charters, so at the point, we will start handling it differently," D'Agostino said.

He reported that officials in El Paso had been told that it would take seven to 10 days to see a significant drop in the number of Venezuelans allowed to stay in the U.S.

About 2,100 Venezuelans have been arriving in El Paso daily, a record-breaking number. However, according to Customs and Border Protection's reporting from October 2021 through August 2022, only 7.2% of migrant encounters at the southern border involved Venezuelan citizens.

"We will continue the charters, as long as there's enough demand to fill those charters," D'Agostino stated.

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