Philadelphia preparing for possible arrival of migrants from Texas

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — The city of Philadelphia is preparing for the possible arrival of migrants from the southern border.

They are reportedly leaving Texas hoping for a better life in the city of brotherly love.

The city says the situation is still fluid, but it is working with local partner organizations. The city says the buses should have departed sometime on Saturday, but they have yet to receive confirmation if they departed.

“The migrants are greeted, literally welcomed, by various organizations because our city is literally waiting for them with open arms,” ​​said Steven Barsamian, Esquire, an immigration attorney in Bala Cynwyd.

The city says they have been told there may be a bus carrying about 52 asylum seekers. The group plans to arrive in Philadelphia from Del Rio, Texas.

“We will welcome them with open arms and do everything we can to make the transition smooth,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said Sunday. “It doesn’t matter if they found their way here, if they were put on a bus – they are people. They want to be in America. They want to do what all of our, most of our, ancestors did. She just makes her living in America.”

Planning for the possible arrival of migrants from the southern states has been underway since the summer. Texas and Florida governors have sent migrants to northern cities like New York City to protest the Biden administration’s immigration policies.

The city says the information was forwarded to it by a community partner organization because Texas officials failed to coordinate with the city.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s office did not confirm migrants were coming to Philadelphia.

A spokesman released a statement to Action News on Monday, which said: “We currently only take migrants by bus to Washington, DC, New York City and Chicago.”

Once the migrants arrive, groups like HIAS Pennsylvania will provide them with resources.

“Some of the materials we will be providing will be a map of the United States to show you where Philadelphia is,” said Cathryn Miller-Wilson, executive director of HIAS Pennsylvania. “We will be offering several Know Your Rights sessions in English and Spanish.”

Philadelphia has experience with large groups of refugees and asylum seekers. It was a designated city for refugees from Afghanistan and Ukraine. The difference here is that there is no coordination with the State of Texas.

A statement from the mayor’s office sent to Action News said: “Agencies have regularly met and coordinated with nearly 15 local community-based organizations and partners to plan a local response, including preparations for immediate admission and accommodation of emergency shelters, emergency health screening, food, water and more. The group has been meeting since August, when community leaders alerted the city to increased bus travel to nearby Washington, DC and New York City.

The city and local organizations will also work to cover long-term needs, including work permits and legal paperwork.

“We know this has been a problem in other cities…they don’t know where they are and what the next steps in the legal process are,” said Stephen Larin, deputy director of the Nationalities Service Center.

Larin also said lawyers will work with people to submit the necessary paperwork to ensure they stay in the country legally.

Barsamian says the next steps are for migrants to stay close to the system.

“Don’t give up, don’t be afraid, I mean, after what they’ve been through, there’s really nothing left to be afraid of,” Barsamian said.

Barsamian says there should be a way for people to get off the bus here.

“Philadelphia needs workers, and here come 52 of them. They’re not legal to work, they don’t have work permits, but we’re working on finding a way for them to get that route faster than normal,” Barsamian said.

The city has no specific information about the people on board and does not know if more buses are planned.

The city says more information will be released as it becomes available.

Copyright © 2022 WPVI-TV. All rights reserved. Philadelphia preparing for possible arrival of migrants from Texas

Alley Einstein

Alley Einstein is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Alley Einstein joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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