A Texas Democrat-led city approved a $2 million dollar contract with a charter bus company in order to transport migrants to other cities.
The contract between El Paso, Texas and GoGo Charters LLC was approved by the El Paso city council on Monday by a 3-1 vote, and the private company will “transport migrants to other cities as needed,” according to WETM.
The city, which borders Mexico, has already bussed more than 550 migrants out of the town by the charter bus company, according to the report. City-run busses have taken migrants to bus stations, the airport, and shelters in the area.
However, according to the report, the number of people released from federal immigration custody has risen substantially over the past week as hundreds of Venezuelan migrants arrived who both cannot be expelled from the country under Title 42 and don’t have U.S. sponsors.
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The $2 million will be spent over 16 months, and the city is hoping for a reimbursement from the Biden administration.
City Manager Tony Gonzalez called the situation an “emergency” and said that there simply isn’t money for these kinds of circumstances.
“This is an emergency. We don’t have money set aside for these particular circumstances. You are giving us the ability to spend up to $2 million with this company; that’s all we’re authorized with this particular company,” Gonzalez said.
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The city council also extended an emergency ordinance that was put in place to assist the migrants’ needs, according to the report.
“We knew we needed to pay for things that are not within our charter […] so we wanted you to approve that ordinance to give us the ability to do things like the processing/welcome center, to pay for food and water, when necessary, to pay for hotels, to pay for transport,” Gonzalez said. “There’s a cost to do that, several thousands of dollars. And when you get into three, four, five charters per day, it adds up.”
The report also states that El Paso has sent out 25 charter busses since Aug. 23, and added that five more will be sent out on Monday.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre blasted Republican Gov. Greg Abbott as well as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday for sending migrants to other states across the country.
Abbott sent two busses containing mover 100 migrants to a location near Vice President Kamala Harris’ residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C., on Thursday morning. On Wednesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis sent two full planes of illegal immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard.
The Biden White House has yet to criticize El Paso.