Biden ‘must secure our border’: El Paso County judge candidate sounds off on migrant crisis

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As El Paso County continues to grapple with the wave of immigrants crossing the southern border, one candidate for a county judge said the government should not use local tax dollars to “address federal failures.”

“The federal government must secure our borders,” said Guadalupe Jenner, who holds an independent position. “They put this burden on El Paso County. For whatever reason, the county has decided to open a processing center.”

El Paso District Commissioners Court He approved a $6.8 million contract in September to open a new immigrant support center near the airport. It will be similar to the one run by the city Immigrant reception centerwhich currently helps up to 400 immigrants a day coordinate travel to other cities, putting many on buses to New York City or Chicago.

The county hopes to have its processing center up and running by early October.

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Guadalupe Jenner is running for El Paso County Judge. She is critical of the county’s handling of the immigrant crisis, saying that officials should not use local tax dollars to fix federal failures.
(Hannah Ray Lambert/Fox News)

“We’re taking money out of the hands of local taxpayers and putting it into something the federal government has to pay,” Jenner told Fox News.

El Paso County Administrator Betsy Keeler said at a county commissioners court meeting September 19 that the county expects to “receive all funding through FEMA” for the processing center. But the county will have to pay up front because FEMA reimburses costs on a quarterly basis, Keeler said.

“If at any time these funds are no longer available, we will immediately go back, report to the court and work to scale back our operations if that is what the court wants,” she said.

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Jenner said she’s skeptical that local taxpayers won’t end up in trouble, especially if the flow of immigrants slows and the county gets stuck on long-term leases and contracts.

“We are one of the poorest communities in Texas where there are higher property taxes,” she said.

El Paso average household income In 2020, it was $48,292 with 17.6% of the population living in poverty, according to Census Bureau data. The median household income statewide was $63,826. The Average property tax rate El Paso County has 2.09% compared to the state average of 1.81%.

“What will the taxpayer, the local taxpayer, not see in their favour because we are forced to address federal failures?” Jenner asked.

A Customs and Border Protection bus drops dozens of migrants, most of them from Venezuela, at the El Paso Migrant Reception Center on September 22, 2022.

A Customs and Border Protection bus drops dozens of migrants, most of them from Venezuela, at the El Paso Migrant Reception Center on September 22, 2022.
(Hannah Ray Lambert/Fox News)

While Keeler and other city and county officials have repeatedly said the federal government will reimburse all costs, KFOX14 reported the city He said Thursday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency may cover only up to 30% of expenses for moving immigrants to other cities.

The city of El Paso has already spent about $3 million busing immigrants, according to KFOX14.

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Jenner said she supports Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to send immigrants to Blue Cities “so people can see how difficult it is to take care of the situation.”

But El Paso Mayor Oscar Lesser and El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego, the Democrat Jenner is running against, told Fox News they would not accept help from Abbott busing immigrants.

“We will never use people as pawns to send them anywhere else,” Lesser, DemocratAnd the Fox News said. “We want to send them to say where they want to go, and where they’ve met friends and family.”

A US Border Patrol agent talks with Central American migrants at the border fence.

A US Border Patrol agent talks with Central American migrants at the border fence.
(John Moore/Getty Images)

The difference in the city and county approach, Samaniego said, is that El Paso officials coordinate with communities at the receiving end of buses rather than just depositing immigrants in other cities without warning.

“Then it becomes a political issue rather than a crisis,” Samaniego said.

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In the end, Jenner said she blamed the federal government for giving immigrants a “green light.” Trying to raise the title 42, a public health law that allows the United States to suspend the rights of immigrants to seek asylum. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recalled Title 42 shortly after the coronavirus pandemic began.

The I tried to manage Biden to end the matter earlier this year, but a federal judge temporarily blocked those efforts.

“Everyone wants to come to America,” Jenner said. “We are the greatest country on earth.” “[But] I don’t want them to come here. It is very difficult for our society. We have a poor society. We don’t have these resources.”

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