EL PASO, Texas — Earlier in the week, lawmakers complained of the immense strain on El Paso as the city deals with an immense uptick in migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. Now, $6 million in federal funding has been awarded to the city to help it deal with the migrant surge. 

The National Board for FEMA’s Emergency Food and Shelter Program approved the $6 million, and the City of El Paso is pending the formal award letter and payment.

“The City has also received notice that FEMA has identified nearly $3.8 million as partial reimbursement for the City’s third-quarter expenses (July-Sept). The total reimbursement request is $5.13 million. FEMA is evaluating the remaining $1.34 million reimbursement. The City is now pending the payment,” according to the City of El Paso.

The city has its fourth quarter (October to December) reimbursement application in the works, expecting $4.11 million as the estimated cost. “FEMA did provide $2 million in advanced funding in mid-October for fourth-quarter expenses, bringing down the estimated fourth-quarter expenses to approximately $2.11 million,” the city said. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) pandemic-era Title 42 order will expire next week, and some legislators have pushed back against that expiration date. Many have pointed out that terminating Title 42 will probably result in an overwhelming number of migrants released to the U.S.

“The City and OEM continue ongoing migrant support and preparing for the end of Title 42, as a new wave of migrants arrives at the border. We continue to work with local NGOs, federal partners, and nonprofits to respond to this unprecedented migrant crisis,” the City said.

State Sen. Cesar Blanco, D-El Paso, is working alongside the City of El Paso to seek state resources in the absence of an emergency declaration.

“We are extremely grateful to Sen. Blanco for his support and all of our partners including the NGOs, the County, State, and Federal leaders who understand the extraordinary collaborative lift that is required to overcome this federal humanitarian crisis,” said Deputy City Manager Mario D’Agostino.

In preparation for Title 42’s lift, the city is in communication with the Texas Division of Emergency Management for community resources.

“OEM and City officials, along with our County partners, have been looking to identify possible sites that NGOs, state and federal partners can utilize, and the City and OEM staff can augment,” the City commented.

The OEM staff and City of El Paso are monitoring the situation and preparing to act as needed.