PHILADELPHIA – Today, the City of Philadelphia provided an update on an additional bus of asylum seekers from Del Rio/Eagle Pass, Texas and their arrival in Philadelphia early this morning, marking 20 total buses since November 16 of last year.
The City reported that 30 asylum seekers traveled from Texas to Philadelphia via bus. Upon arrival at 30th Street Station, 25 of them were transported to the City’s welcoming facility on E. Luzerne Street in North Philadelphia. All of them on board are from Venezuela.
“Philadelphia welcomed and successfully assisted hundreds of asylum seekers since the start of this operation last year and we plan to continue to do so as needed following the end of use of Title 42,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “As Philadelphians and as citizens of this country, it is our obligation to ensure that all people have the opportunity to seek a safer and more hopeful life in America. I am proud to have our city be a part of their stories and a place of refuge for families and children.”
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Title 42 has been used as a tool to expel hundreds of thousands of migrants to their home countries and deter immigration, including those fleeing crises and requesting asylum.
To date, Philadelphia has received nearly 900 asylum seekers and has continued to build on the City’s welcome efforts in coordination with key nonprofit partners by adding capacity for shelter management and case management support via contracted providers.
The City does not have any information on potential additional buses traveling to 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,
- Case management,
- On-site language interpretation.
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 Philadelphia City Fund 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 New Sanctuary Movement, Catholic Social Services, Saint Thomas Aquinas Community Center, Casa De Venezuela, Gente De Venezuela, Juntos, PA Immigrant Family Unity Project (PAIFUP), PA Immigration and Citizenship Coalition, Alianza Latina, the Wyss Wellness Center, Maria de los Santos, the Salvation Army and so many more.
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.
Guidance for Press on Site: To respect new arrivals and their privacy, we ask that media do not stage at 30th Street Station. Instead, media are encouraged to stage outside of our welcoming facility on the public sidewalk near 600 E. Luzerne Street. Upon arrival at 30th Street Station, the individuals will be transported to a welcoming facility at this location.
Due to privacy concerns, media is not permitted on the property beyond the entrance gates.