Another Busload of Migrants Welcomed in Philly After Traveling From Texas

Texas officials have been sending buses with thousands of migrants to so-called sanctuary cities like New York, Washington, Chicago and beyond -- a tactic that escalated earlier this fall

NBC Universal, Inc.

For the second time in the past week, a busload of migrants seeking asylum arrived outside Philadelphia's 30th Street Station after making the trip from the Texas border.

The bus pulled up around 9:30 a.m. Monday. There were 46 asylum seekers on board, Laila Sadat, deputy communications director for Mayor Jim Kenney's office, said.

Léelo en español aquí.

Advocates greeted asylum seekers who came off the bus and handed them welcome materials.

"Philadelphia is a proud welcoming city," Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said after a similar migrants bus arrived last week. "For those arriving in Philadelphia please know you are welcome here."

People on board included migrants from Ecuador, Colombia and other countries, advocates told NBC10's Miguel Martinez-Valle. A 4-year-old girl made the journey with her family.

Advocates who greeted the group said it was not clear how long the 1,800-mile-or-so bus journey took, but one said it would typically take about 40 hours.

Philadelphia and its community partners arranged for medical triage and follow-up for any new arrivals in need of medical care, a city spokesperson said ahead of the previous bus arriving.

Advocates made it clear that those who got off the bus were in the asylum process and not breaking the rules.

"They are refugees, they are asking for asylum," Fernando Torres, of Casa De Venezuela, said. "They're following the process, they're following the system, they're following the rules."

Some of the migrants were greeted by hugs from family members who waited for their arrival.

Around 30 of the other migrants -- mostly men -- were loaded onto a waiting SEPTA bus and taken to a shelter on Luzerne Street in North Philadelphia, reported Telemundo 62's Isabel Sanchez.

Just like last Wednesday when 28 asylum seekers arrived, officials in Texas didn't coordinate with Philadelphia leadership about the bus.

"Texas officials have not coordinated with the City, despite a direct request from Philadelphia's Office of Emergency Management to do so," Sadat wrote. "We do not yet have any specific information about those on board, nor do we know if other buses are planned."

Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's has faced criticism over buses that suddenly turned up in New York, Washington, D.C., and Chicago.

Texas has transported more than 13,000 migrants to those cities since April. Abbott sent the buses to Democratic-led cities as a way to maximize exposure over what he says is inaction by the Biden administration over high numbers of migrants crossing on the southern border.

Critics have waved off the buses as a political stunt, but voters rewarded Abbott earlier this month with a record-tying third term as Texas governor in his race against Democrat Beto O’Rourke. Abbott made a series of hardline immigration measures the centerpiece of his campaign.

Kenney last week condemned Abbott's actions in a released statement.

“It's not just unproductive and disappointing, but downright irresponsible and calloused to do this unannounced and without coordination, showing blatant disregard for the sanctity of human lives," Kenney said Wednesday while saying the city "took the right path."

People who want to help can also donate to Philadelphia's new Welcoming Fund, Kenney said.

Contact Us