As El Paso becomes the primary place for immigrants to enter the United States, residents of the Texas city tell The Post they are now being overrun by illegal immigrants who are coming into their neighborhoods, roaming their yards and possibly carrying guns.
“It’s really bad because sometimes there’s like 10, 15 of them running around everywhere,” Luis Lujan, who lives near Ascarate Park in El Paso, less than two miles from the border, told The Post.
In the area where Lujan lives, migrants either scale the border wall or punch holes in the nine-foot barrier that separates the US from Mexico.
Lujan first noticed immigrants in his neighborhood two years ago when they ran through the neighborhood to avoid border police. He said they often hide in people’s yards.
“Ever since Biden said, ‘Come over,’ they come over,” Lujan said. “It was like a freeway for them.”
Lujan’s neighbors are mostly elderly residents with modest incomes. He explained that they report the illegals to the US Border Patrol.
“They’re scared — we don’t know if they’re going to break into our homes,” he said. “We don’t confront them because we don’t know if they have guns. We don’t know if they have knives.”
In October, a border patrol agent pursuing a group of illegal immigrants near Ascarate Park was punched, dragged and punched, the FBI said. Venezuelans Kevin Escalona Gonzalez, 35, and Yeleixy Fuentes, 27, have been arrested and charged with assaulting the federal agent.
“Attacks on Border Patrol agents or other federal agents … will not be tolerated and will be promptly addressed by our office so they can continue to fulfill their sworn duty to protect our communities,” said FBI El Paso Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey R Downey.
Once through the border wall, immigrants must cross Loop 375 – also known as the Border Highway. Cars driving on the six-lane highway do not expect pedestrians on the road and sometimes bump into people when running across the expressway.
A Guatemalan man was killed Thursday when he and five other migrants ran across the border highway, KFOX-TV reported. The 52-year-old migrant was hit and died in hospital.
“The cars are going 60, 70 miles an hour and they get hit,” said neighbor Alfred Subia – who said he knows a lot of immigrants who get hit at night.
In addition to illegal frontiers, many of whom have been refused entry into the U.S. and rely on cartels to smuggle them across, El Paso saw more than 53,000 people attempting to cross Mexico in October, making it the busiest place in the country makes border patrol stats. According to El Paso statistics, last week the city also released 5,327 people it believes have legal residency in the country for further processing in the community.
Lujan predicts a surge in immigrants after December 21, when the Title 42 measure used to expel migrants from the US ends.
Trump-era policies currently allow border police to kick out about 40% of immigrants who cross the border from Mexico, Venezuela, and other Central and South American countries. Estimates place up to 18,000 immigrants per day crossing the southern border after Title 42 was discontinued.
“Oh, hell no – that’s a big mistake,” said Lujan. “They sleep on the street. We don’t have enough shelters for them. Why are you letting her in? It makes no sense.”
Since August, the sixth largest city in the Lone Star State has been grappling with a surge in immigration that threatens to collapse city services.
Housing in El Paso was bursting at the seams, resulting in immigrants being released onto the streets where they slept for days – something the frontier town had never seen before.
To keep immigrants off the streets of El Paso, the city opened a migrant welcome center and bused nearly 14,000 migrants seeking asylum into New York City and Chicago. However, after spending $9 million on these projects, the city suspended both projects pending reimbursement from the federal government.
This has prompted renewed calls from some council members to declare a state of emergency and seek government aid, which the city’s mayor, Oscar Leeser, was reluctant to do.