As El Paso becomes the number one location for immigrants to cross into the US, residents of the Texas city tell The Post illegal immigrants are overwhelming their neighborhoods, prowling through their yards and may be carrying weapons.
“It’s real bad because sometimes there’s up to 10, 15 of them running all over,” Luis Lujan, who lives near El Paso’s Ascarate Park, less than two miles from the border, told The Post.
In the area where Lujan lives, migrants either climb over the border wall or cut holes in the nine-foot barrier dividing the US from Mexico.
Lujan first noticed immigrants in his neighborhood two years ago, as they ran through the neighborhood to evade Border Patrol. He said they often end up hiding in people’s yards.
“Ever since Biden said, ‘Come on over,’ they’re coming over,” Lujan said. “This was like a freeway to them.”
Lujan’s neighbors are mostly elderly residents with modest incomes. He explained they report the illegals to US Border Patrol.
“They’re afraid — we don’t know if they’re going to break into our houses,” he said. “We don’t confront them because we don’t know if they have guns. We don’t know if they have knives.”
In October, a Border Patrol agent who was chasing a group of illegal immigrants near Ascarate Park was beaten, dragged and punched, the FBI said. Venezuelans Kevin Escalona Gonzalez, 35, and Yeleixy Fuentes, 27, were taken into custody and are charged with assaulting the federal agent.
“Assaults on Border Patrol agents or any other federal agents … will not be tolerated and will be addressed swiftly by our office so they can continue to carry out their sworn duty to protect our communities,” said FBI El Paso Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey R. Downey.
Once they make it past the border wall, the immigrants have to cross Loop 375 — also known as the Border Highway. Cars traveling on the six-lane highway don’t expect pedestrians on the road, and sometimes hit the people as they run across the expressway.
A Guatemalan man was killed on Thursday, as he and five other migrants were running across the Border Highway, reported KFOX-TV. The 52-year-old migrant was hit and died at the hospital.
“The cars are going 60, 70 miles an hour and they get hit,” said neighbor Alfred Subia– who said he has known of many immigrants to get hit at night.
Alongside illegal border crossers, many of whom have been rejected for entry to the US and rely on cartels to smuggle them over, El Paso saw more than 53,000 people attempt to cross from Mexico in October, making it the busiest location in the country, according to Border Patrol statistics. The town also released 5,327 who they deemed have a right to stay in the country for further processing into the community last week, according to El Paso’s statistics.
Lujan predicts an increase in immigrants after Dec. 21, when the Title 42 measure which has been used to eject migrants from the US ends.
The Trump-era policy currently allows the Border Patrol to kick out about 40% of the immigrants who cross the border migrants from Mexico, Venezuela and other Central and South American countries. Estimates have run as high as 18,000 immigrants a day crossing the southern border after Title 42 is retired.
“Oh, hell no– that’s a big mistake,” said Lujan. “They’re sleeping on the streets. We don’t have enough shelters for them. Why are you letting them in? It’s doesn’t make sense.”
Since August, the sixth largest city in the Lone Star State has been dealing with a sharp increase in immigrants that has threatened to collapse city services.
Shelters in El Paso were bursting at the seams, leading to immigrants being released into the streets where they slept for days—something that had never happened before in the border city.
To keep immigrants off El Paso streets, the city opened a migrant welcome center and bused nearly 14,000 asylum seeking migrants to New York City and Chicago. However, after spending $9m on those projects the city has discontinued both until it recieves reimbursement from the federal government.
This has led to renewed calls from some council members to declare an emergency and ask for state assistance, which the town’s mayor, Oscar Leeser, has been reluctant to do.