City of Laredo prepares for the end of Title 42

Published: May. 1, 2023 at 4:26 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tx. (KGNS) - A COVID-era policy that was being used to keep undocumented immigrants out of the country could be coming to an end in 10 days.

Officials in border cities are now fearing a potential surge in migrants once Title 42 is gone with some of them declaring various states of emergency.

Laredo’s mayor, Dr. Victor Trevino, made the same type of declaration and spoke about what is being done in case there is a massive influx of people coming to Laredo.

Border cities like Rio Grande City and Brownsville are seeing a significant surge in illegal migrant processing from 1,900 per day to 6,000 people a day. It is expected some overflow of migrants to be brought to Laredo by Border Patrol to help the process.

This prompted Mayor Dr. Victor Trevino to declare a State of Disaster for the city on Sunday, April 30. “We’re saying that we didn’t have a big amount of migrants in our border and that was the situation, but because all other areas in the southern borders are having overwhelming numbers, this also affects us and eventually we will have the numbers here that are processed,” said Mayor Trevino.

Mayor Trevino said that this is a preventative plan and will only be used if needed. The plan includes sending the overflow of migrants to the non-governmental organizations in Laredo which are the Holding institute and Catholic Charities. If these shelters run out of space, the mayor said the city can use some potentially available resources like city-owned spaces as shelters. “There’s always that possibility, and that is the reason why we have meetings. As a matter of fact, we have a meeting this morning with the stakeholders and these are ideas that are shared and we have to put our minds together to come up with solutions,” said Mayor Trevino.

In a statement, U.S Congressman Henry Cuellar said quote, “I am aware of the emergency declaration issued by the mayor of Laredo. I want to be clear that the number of people crossing into Laredo is currently low and is among the lowest in the country.” Cuellar said he will continue to monitor the situation, along with the City of Laredo.

KGNS reached out to Border Patrol regarding the declaration, but we have not received a response. KGNS spoke to Laredo Acting Deputy Chief Patrol Agent Greg Burwell last week who said the Laredo Sector does not anticipate a migrant surge after Title 42 ends.

Below is the original story:

A program that expels undocumented migrants out of the U.S. will come to an end in ten days.

Although last week, state and federal officials believed Laredo might not be affected by a surge, on Sunday, Mayor Dr. Victor Trevino issued a state of disaster to prepare for it.

While May 11 is almost two weeks away, our border neighbor’s area feeling the surge already.

Officials in Laredo say while they are not seeing a surge in migrants, they are anticipating one.

Since Laredo will help process migrants from our neighboring borders and send them to non-governmental organizations for a certain period of time; where they will be placed is a topic of discussion.

Mayor Dr. Trevino said the Border Patrol stations in the Rio Grande Valley and Brownsville have seen a significant increase of people being processed, some have even reached their limit.

From 1,900 a day to 6,000 people a day, they are reporting a 200 percent increase.

In the event that agents from those affected Border Patrol sectors need extra hands after May 11, the mayor said a number of undocumented people will be transferred to the nearest processing center which will be in Laredo.

While processing centers help with paperwork and sometimes, they provide shelter, Mayor Trevino said the plan is to send them to the two NGO’s in town which are the Holding Institute and Catholic Charities.

In the event that those shelters run out of space, the mayor said the city can use some available resources including some city owned spaces and shelters.

“It triggers out some certain situations like the emergency management funds from the city, it also alerts the stakeholders, the police, the fire department and the medical, which are the hospitals to be involved,” said Mayor Dr. Victor Trevino. “There’s always that possibility, and that is the reason why we have meetings, as a matter of fact we have a meeting this morning with the stakeholders, and these are ideas that are shared, and we have to put our minds together to come up with solutions.”

Mayor Treviño adds that depending on the number of migrants coming into the Gateway City, the Sames Auto Arena could be put in that pool of consideration, as a potential temporary shelter for migrants.

The mayor said that Congressman Cuellar is currently seeking federal funds to help the city but only time will tell if these plans will be set in place after the end of Title 42.

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