PHILADELPHIA — Today, the City of Philadelphia provided an update on additional buses of asylum seekers from Texas and their arrival in Philadelphia at 6 a.m. this morning.

On Monday, December 5, the City reported that 53 asylum seekers traveled from Texas to Philadelphia via bus. Upon arrival at 30th Street Station, 33 of them were transported to the City’s welcoming facility on E. Luzerne Street in North Philadelphia. Many of them are from Colombia, Cuba, Panama, Peru, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic, and have been fully screened by Customs and Border Patrol before arriving in Philadelphia.

Services Provided: Immediately upon arrival, individuals were greeted by the City’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (OIA), the Office of Emergency Management (OEM), the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, an array of non-profit partners as well as local hospitals providing the following services:

  • Emergency health screening,
  • Shelter space,
  • Food and water,
  • Legal services,
  • Social services,
  • on-site language interpretation.

The City does not have any information on potential additional buses traveling to Philadelphia.

Medical Preparation: The City will continue to work with community partners to arrange for medical triage and follow-up for any new arrivals in need of medical care.

Donations: Information on how people can help is available online here. The City of Philadelphia’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (OIA) and the Mayor’s Fund for Philadelphia have launched the Philadelphia Welcoming Fund to allow Philadelphia residents the opportunity to contribute to local efforts to welcome immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers in Philadelphia.

The funds collected by the Welcoming Fund will be provided to nonprofit organizations in the Philadelphia area that are supporting new arrivals.

Additionally, in the Philadelphia region, Nationalities Services Center and HIAS Pennsylvania are among the nonprofit organizations offering immigration legal services to immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers, including our new arrivals. The Philadelphia region also has a thriving sector of immigrant-serving organizations that have stepped up to support these communities. They include Casa De VenezuelaGente De VenezuelaJuntosNew Sanctuary MovementAquinas Community CenterPA Immigrant Family Unity Project (PAIFUP), PA Immigration and Citizenship CoalitionAlianza Latina, the Wyss Wellness Center, and Maria de los Santos.

Please keep in mind that donated supplies cannot be accepted.

The best way to support organizations that are providing aid to people is through monetary donations to the Philadelphia Welcoming Fund or to the vetted groups named above that are providing immediate and long-term relief.

Note on Terminology: The City’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (OIA) advises using “individuals and families seeking asylum” to describe arriving people.

B-Roll/Photos: Photos and video are available to download here for media use. Credit: City of Philadelphia.