Nearly 250 immigrants seeking asylum have been sent to Philadelphia over the past three weeks, following the arrival Monday morning of another bus from Texas.
Monday’s bus, which pulled into 30th Street Station at around 6 a.m., contained 53 migrants, and the majority of them decided to go to the city’s welcoming facility in North Philadelphia, Mayor Jim Kenney’s office said.
Six buses have completed the trip to Philadelphia since Nov. 16, after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott decided to add the city to a list of Democrat-led metropolitan areas to receive immigrants.
Abbott tweeted Monday that his administration’s busing program has transported more than 13,900 migrants to Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago and Philadelphia. He has said the initiative will continue until the White House takes action on the “national border crisis.”
Kenney’s administration, along with local nonprofits catering to refugees and immigrants, have been offering emergency health screening, shelter space, food, water, legal help and social services to people arriving on the buses, according to a news release.
Not all of those seeking asylum, from countries in the Caribbean, Central and South America, have remained in Philadelphia.
City officials encourage people interested in helping the new arrivals to donate to the Philadelphia Welcoming Fund.
The money contributed to the fund will be dispersed to organizations aiding the asylum seekers, including HIAS Pennsylvania, the Nationalities Services Center, the New Sanctuary Movement and Juntos.