Texas sends second migrant bus to Philadelphia, despite city’s plea for coordination
A second bus of migrants from Texas arrived in Philadelphia this week, despite the city’s plea for coordination with the state as part of Gov. Greg Abbott’s continued efforts to send asylum seekers to areas ruled by Democrats, a city spokesperson said.
A Nov. 17 letter from Philadelphia Emergency Management Director Dominick Mireles to Texas Emergency Management Division Chief Nim Kidd implored the state official responsible for executing the transportation of migrants by Governor Greg Abbott to “uphold a fundamental tenet of our shared profession: collaboration”.
Mireles asked his Texas counterpart to contact city officials if he planned to continue ferrying groups of migrants to the city, according to the letter obtained by ABC News. It appears to have been written a day after a bus from Del Rio, Texas arrived at a Philadelphia transit station carrying 28 migrants.
“Your bus of asylum seekers that arrived yesterday, November 16, 2022, took the City of Philadelphia and its partners by surprise. As you may have heard, a child required emergency medical attention upon arrival “, wrote Mireles.
A spokesperson for the city of Philadelphia told ABC News that Texas officials did not respond to the letter on Tuesday. A group of 46 migrants were bused to Philadelphia from Texas on Monday, Philadelphia officials said.
TDEM did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.
Since Abbott began directing his Emergency Management Department to send buses to Democratic-run cities to draw attention to what he calls the “open border policies” of the Biden administration, officials in Chicago, New York, Washington DC and now Philadelphia, have had to adjust to the sudden increase in the number of asylum seekers entering their housing system without any formal coordination from Texas.
“The Lone Star State will continue to do more than any other state in history to secure our border, including adding more sanctuary cities as drop-off locations for our bus strategy,” Abbott said. tweeted announcing the first migrant bus to Philadelphia.
Pointing to a lack of coordination, Mireles instructed Kidd that “any bus scheduled for Philadelphia be asked to report to a safe and secure location of our choosing, not a street corner that you have identified in a jurisdiction with which you have no official link.”
Abbott also recently decided to start busing migrants to an area near the Naval Observatory in Washington, DC, home of Vice President Kamala Harris. His bus transportation efforts have left local nonprofits scrambling to find accommodation and provide the resources migrants need to reach their chosen destination where they must take the next steps in the asylum process.
Mireles listed 8 demands for TDEM, including that they give 72 hours notice of any buses arriving in Philadelphia. Mireles also asked Kidd to screen travelers for medical conditions such as COVID and RSV and to keep family units together during transport.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney condemned Abbott’s efforts at a news conference last week, calling them a “deliberately cruel policy” of using immigrant families for political gain.
“It is truly disgusting to hear today that Governor Abbott and his administration continue to implement their deliberately cruel policy of using immigrant families – including women and children – as pawns to advance without shames its distorted political program,” he said. “Unfortunately, racism and human cruelty have always been intertwined in the way immigrants are received by and in this country, which the previous presidential administration openly and actively encouraged.”
Abbott’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Many migrants who arrived in Philadelphia have been picked up by relatives or traveled to other cities, but some are staying at a reception center the city has established as a temporary stopover before determining next steps, the agency said. town. Just the latest city added to Abbott’s radar, city officials say they are well positioned to receive migrants arriving within their city limits.
“Since the summer, the city’s Office of Immigration Affairs and Office of Emergency Management have been preparing for the potential arrival of migrants via unplanned and uncoordinated bus routes from southern states.” , a spokesperson for the city of Philadelphia said in a statement. “Agencies meet and coordinate regularly with nearly 15 local organizations and community partners to plan a local response, including preparations for immediate reception and shelter space, emergency medical screening, food , water, and more.”