2 additional buses of asylum-seekers from Texas arrive at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia

Many of the people are from Colombia, Cuba, Panama, Peru, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic.

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Saturday, November 26, 2022
2 additional buses of asylum-seekers arrive in Philadelphia
The group will be taken to a welcoming facility on E. Luzerne Street in North Philadelphia.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Two additional buses of people from Texas seeking asylum in the U.S. arrived in Philadelphia on Friday morning at 30th Street Station.

City leaders and local organizations were once again ready to give them a joyful welcome, a warm jacket and a cozy blanket.

"Philadelphia has made it a really solid intention to be a welcoming city. So, folks arriving, regardless of what they have had to deal with over the last two months, they are welcome here and there's folks waiting to support them," said Erika Guadalupe-Nunez, with Juntos.

The city said about 71 people were on the two buses. The group will be taken to a welcoming facility on E. Luzerne Street in North Philadelphia, officials said.

The buses that arrived Friday were the third and fourth to roll into Philadelphia from Texas in the last two weeks.

Many of the people are from Colombia, Cuba, Panama, Peru, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic. They have been fully screened by Customs and Border Patrol before arriving in Philadelphia.

As with the first two groups, very few people have any intention of staying in Philadelphia. Most plan to move onto locations in New Jersey, New York, Ohio and even Wisconsin.

"We are trying to help them get to their final destinations. So, we may help them by a bus ticket," said Emilio Buitrago, with Casa de Venezuela.

On Monday, a bus carrying 46 asylum-seekers arrived at 30th Street Station.

One of those on the bus, Kevin Aborlada, said he took a two-month trip from Ecuador.

Aborlada said he and his family went through the forest and it was very tough. They saw a lot of people dying and saw others who had to stop along the way.

He said it was difficult psychologically for he and his wife since they were carrying their 3-year-old child.

Last Wednesday, a bus carrying 28 asylum-seekers was sent by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott from Del Rio to Philadelphia.

Abbott, a Republican, previously announced Philadelphia would be added to the list of destinations for migrants that Texas has been transporting by the thousands from the U.S.-Mexico border to Democrat-led cities. The news came a week after Abbott easily won reelection.

Texas has put more than 300 busloads of migrants on the road since April, sometimes five in a day, on unannounced journeys to cities including New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C. The trips have cost Texas about $26 million, according to Nim Kidd, chief of the Texas Department of Emergency Management.

The people arriving from Texas are all in the country legally while they seek asylum, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.