By Sharon Bernstein
(Reuters) -The dramatic increase in migrants crossing the U.S. border from Mexico has pushed the city of El Paso, Texas, to “a breaking point,” with more than 2,000 people per day seeking asylum, exceeding shelter capacity and straining resources, its mayor said on Saturday.
“The city of El Paso only has so many resources and we have come to … a breaking point right now,” Mayor Oscar Leeser said at a news conference.
The arrival of largely Venezuelan asylum seekers is part of a larger swell of immigrants who traveled dangerous routes on buses and cargo trains to Mexican border towns near San Diego, California, and the Texas cities of El Paso and Eagle Pass.
Migrant numbers had plummeted in recent months, and the recent rise has generated a new wave of political attacks on U.S. President Joe Biden heading into the 2024 election.
Lesser said El Paso plans to open a new shelter, and on Saturday chartered five buses to take migrants to New York, Chicago and Denver.
Republican governors in Texas and Florida have been criticized for sending migrants to cities perceived as liberal such as New York and Sacramento. But Leeser, a Democrat, said all of the migrants on the