A Texas congressman who represents hundreds of miles along the southern border called the situation in El Paso “dire” Sunday morning as he provided footage of one overrun migrant processing center.
During an interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” GOP Rep. Tony Gonzales said the conditions he saw at one processing center he’d “never seen before” with more than 500 migrants to one “pod” that typically holds about 100 people.
“You know, I was just in El Paso a few days ago, and what I saw at the migrant center I had never seen before. I have visited- I had visited the processing center there many times,” he told host Margaret Brennan, adding “There’s one bathroom, the odor is terrible. And there’s eight pods in there. And so those are the good conditions.
“Outside just above the hill, there’s a thousand, a little over 1,000 migrants waiting in outdoor conditions, not to mention the people that are waiting by the bridge and elsewhere.
“It’s a very dire situation in El Paso.”
The cell phone footage played by CBS and provided by Gonzales shows migrants from a couple days ago crammed into a space with many on cots right besides each other while others are standing and huddled together.
“What I saw shocked me and I wanted to share that with the world. It’s not about politics,” Gonzales said. “It’s not about you know, trying to create this image that isn’t there. This is the reality. This is the facts. We’re not even at the worst of it yet.”
Fears keep growing that once Title 42 – and Trump-era order related to the COVID pandemic that allows border agents to quickly boot migrants back across the border – ends Dec. 21 that even more people will flood the border.
El Paso’s mayor even declared a state of emergency after he resisted calls to make that move for weeks as the border community continues to face a heavy burden from the influx of migrants coming over.
“As you know, the city declared a state of emergency,” Gonzales told CBS. “This is something you do when there’s a hurricane, a fire or an earthquake.
“What is happening is it’s a hurricane of migrants, and everyone is impacted.”