Nov 13, 2022 - News

Philadelphia tipped off to possible arrival of bus carrying migrants

Illustration of an old suitcase with a white dove sticker on it.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Philadelphia is bracing for the potential arrival of a bus filled with dozens of asylum seekers sent from Texas in the coming days.

Why it matters: Philadelphia appears to be the next target of a controversial practice from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and other Republican governors, who began relocating migrants to so-called sanctuary cities this spring.

The latest: A bus of approximately 52 individuals may be departing from Del Rio, Texas, to Philadelphia, city spokesperson Kevin Lessard said in a statement on Sunday.

  • The Kenney administration was tipped off about the potential bus coming to the city from a community partner organization.
  • "The situation is still fluid," Lessard said.

Details: The city does not know when the bus may leave Texas, when it could arrive in Philadelphia, or any information about those on board as Texas officials have not coordinated with the city, Lessard said.

  • Plus: The city doesn't know if more buses are planned to come to the city.

The big picture: New York City, Washington D.C., Chicago, and Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, are among the recent places where migrants, primarily from Texas, have been sent as part of a coordinated effort from Republican governors to protest the Biden administration's border policies

  • New York City, where at least 17,000 asylum seekers have been bused as of early October, declared a state of emergency last month to respond to the humanitarian crisis, Axios' Jacob Knutson reports.

Zoom in: Officials in Philadelphia have been preparing for the potential arrival of migrants from southern states since the summer.

  • City agencies have been working with nearly 15 local community-based organizations and partners to coordinate the city's response, which includes shelter space, health screening, and food, Lessard said.

What they're saying: City agencies, community leaders and immigrant-serving nonprofits are ready to welcome and provide assistance should a bus arrive, Lessard said.

  • "We are a proud, welcoming city and strongly believe that all people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect," Lessard said.

Of note: The Abbott administration did not respond to a request for comment.


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