San Antonio/ Politics & Govt
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Published on December 21, 2023
Eagle Pass Grapples with Migrant Surge, Rep. Tony Gonzales Calls for Bipartisan Border Crisis ActionSource: Google Street View

The City of Eagle Pass is currently experiencing a remarkable influx of migrants crossing the US-Mexico border, with over 4,000 individuals reported to have made the journey in just the past 24 hours. Congressman Tony Gonzales, representing the district that spans more than 800 miles of the southern border, has called for bipartisan action to address the issue. According to an article from KENS 5, the congressman stated, "I am sounding the alarm as loud as I possibly can. And, anybody that's going to push back against that, I will fight them with everything I have because this needs to come to an end." 

Describing the current border situation as "beyond our breaking point," Gonzales visited Eagle Pass to press Washington for assistance. During a holiday season, Gonzales emphasized to Fox San Antonio that communities like Eagle Pass are instead grappling with a humanitarian and financial crisis. The congressman has also sent a letter to various leaders in the House and Senate, advocating for additional resources at the border.

Eagle Pass officials have expressed their concerns as resources continue to be strained. Rodulfo Cardona, the Assistant Fire Chief, and Emergency Management Coordinator, told KENS 5, “This has absolutely impacted us to the extent that we have resorted to overtime and activating an additional ambulance 24 hours a day, out of our own budget,” Furthermore, the only hospital in Maverick County is operating at full capacity, leading to instances where citizens are unable to receive necessary medical care due to the influx of migrants.

The city's Migrant Resource Center on San Pedro Avenue is at capacity, with nearly 700 cots filled on Wednesday night, leaving some migrants with no choice but to sleep in chairs or on the sidewalks. A spokesperson for San Antonio's Human Services Department highlighted to KENS 5 "The City, in collaboration with Catholic Charities, will continue to operate the Migrant Resource Center utilizing existing resources and services at capacity for as long as it is able. San Antonio must balance compassion with limited capacity. " In the meantime, Catholic Charities is calling for donations to help feed and shelter migrants as federal funding remains on hold.

Gonzales has underlined to Fox San Antonio that the situation in border towns like Eagle Pass is critical, with local officials feeling abandoned in their efforts to manage the crisis. Despite measures like temporarily halting train operations, the situation shows no signs of abating. “And historically, this is not the first time we’ve shut down the train down. Last time there was an immediate effect. The train has been shut down for three days now, and the impact is only getting worse," Gonzales revealed.