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El Paso residents fear for safety with Title 42 in limbo

EL PASO (NewsNation) — Residents of El Paso say they’re now overrun with illegal immigrants who are crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, coming to their neighborhoods, prowling through their yards and possibly carrying weapons, causing them to fear for their safety if Title 42 ends.

Patty Legarreta, who’s lived in the Texas border town for a year and a half, told NewsNation that over the past three weeks, migrants have slipped through the fence in her backyard to hide. She said wakes up to backpacks and clothes left on her patio and now she’s afraid to go outside.

“It’s terribly frightening. I’ve never felt unsafe before in the entire time that I’ve lived here. I’ve always come out to my backyard — I enjoyed the hot tub, enjoyed being back here with my pets; I don’t come back here at all anymore. Just because it’s scary. You don’t know if you’re going to deal with a person that’s having a good day or a person who’s having a bad day,” she said.

Thousands of migrants have gathered along the Mexican side of the border, camping outside or packing into shelters as the weather grows colder.

The limits on border crossings were set to expire Wednesday before conservative-leaning states sought the top court’s help to keep them in place. The Biden administration asked the court to lift the restrictions, but not before Christmas. It’s not clear when the court’s decision will come.

The city of El Paso declared a state of emergency. Texas National Guard members took up positions in El Paso at the behest of the state, while volunteers and law enforcement officers worried that some migrants could succumb to the cold. Nighttime temperatures have been in the 30s and will be even colder in coming days. The Roman Catholic Diocese of El Paso, where nighttime temperatures could drop into the 20s this week, planned to open two more shelters for up to 1,000 people at area churches.

Democrats are trying to push their ideas and come up with solutions to what’s happening at the southern border. Republicans have also been pretty outspoken about this for the last couple of months.