Philly prepares for possible migrant bus

Philadelphia
Venezuelan migrants walk across the Rio Bravo towards the United States border to surrender to the border patrol, from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Oct. 13, 2022.
AP Photo/Christian Chavez, File

City officials and community organizations are preparing for the possibility that a bus carrying 52 migrants from the country’s southern border will arrive in Philadelphia this week.

Initial reports indicated that the bus, from Del Rio, Texas, could reach the city as early as Monday; however, on Sunday, Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration said, “We do not have confirmation when it may leave, and by extension, when it may arrive in Philadelphia.”

Local authorities were informed of the bus from a “community partner organization,” and there has been no coordination with government officials in Texas, according to the Mayor’s Office.

“We do not have an exact location of where the bus will disembark, nor do we have any specific information about those on board, nor do we know if other buses are planned,” the Kenney administration said in a statement.

The city’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and Office of Emergency Management have been meeting with more than a dozen local nonprofits and community groups since the summer to prepare for the potential arrival of migrants, officials said.

In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott’s administration has bussed around 13,000 immigrants to New York, Washington, D.C., and Chicago, according to the Texas Tribune.

“The 300th Texas bus of migrants just left for Chicago,” Abbott tweeted Nov. 10. “As Biden does nothing, Texas will continue taking unprecedented action to relieve our overwhelmed border communities & secure the border.”

Arizona has also sent migrants north, and, in September, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, in a well-publicized stunt, flew asylum-seekers from Venezuela to Martha’s Vineyard.

Kenney’s office said Philadelphia is ready to “welcome, assist, and provide support to these individuals and their families if and when the bus arrives.”

“We are a proud welcoming city and strongly believe that all people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect,” the administration said. “Our diversity is our strength.”

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