Texas Border Town Fire Department Spending $21,000 Per Day Treating Migrants

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Jared Stokes Contributor
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A local fire department in Eagle Pass, a Texas border town, is spending over $21,000 a day dealing with migrant-related emergencies, according to the Texas town’s fire chief.

The Eagle Pass Fire Department has reportedly been receiving about 30 migrant-related EMS calls a day; first responders arrive at either the Rio Grande or the Customs and Border Protection (CPB) nearly every hour in order to deal with the emergencies.

Fire Chief Manuel Mello told Fox News, “There’s not a day where we don’t go to the river’s edge to transport patients, and the city swallows the cost.” Since the department spends about $700 for each call, the migrant emergencies total up to about $21,000 per day. “We have all kinds of calls from minor cuts and bruises to hypothermia to heart attacks to broken bones to even childbirth,” Chief Mello reported. “So we’re transporting all kinds of patients, and they’re all migrants.” (RELATED: White House Quietly Alters Immigration Statement After Meeting With Mexico)

Mello added that the hospital often gets overwhelmed, and they’re “waiting 20 to 30 minutes with a patient inside the ambulance for a bed because we only have one hospital.” 

Rep. Tony Gonzalez, who represents the area, reported Dec. 20 that over 10,000 migrants were being held in CBP facilities around Eagle Pass. According to Gonzalez, the federal government hasn’t reimbursed Eagle Pass for their migrant-related expenses during this surge. “There’s no funding for this period,” Chief Mello said. “So the city loses money right there.”

According to CPB, migrant crossings have already surpassed the 200,000 mark this December, with last December’s record being over 252,000. This year has already seen record numbers of crossings; daily, monthly, and in the fiscal year. The United States and Mexico released a statement reaffirming their resolve to work towards “an orderly, humane, and regular migration” and find the root cause of the crisis, but did not announce any new initiatives to suppress the flow of migrants.

According to the statement, President Joe Biden and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador agreed to have the two countries meet again in January 2024.