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Philadelphia welcomes more asylum seekers from Texas

Philadelphia welcomes 3 more buses of migrants from Texas
Philadelphia welcomes 3 more buses of migrants from Texas 01:50

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Three buses sent from Texas brought about 140 asylum seekers to the city Wednesday, where they were given winter coats and brought to a welcome center to receive services.

CBS Philadelphia was at 30th Street Station as the first bus arrived on Wednesday morning. People who arrived were connecting with families in the U.S. or trying to figure out where to go next.

A second bus arrived around 6:45 a.m. and a third arrived after 9 a.m.

There were children aboard the third bus, while passengers on the first two buses were mostly adults. 

"Very happy because he's in the United States of America," one man said.   

In the past, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said unscheduled drop-offs to sanctuary cities in the northeast, including Philadelphia, were meant to ease pressure on the border state.  

"What is hard right now is it would be really good to know what languages are people speaking, where are they coming from, and treating them in a human way, and this is not happening," said Blanca Pacheco of the New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia. 

The activist group's website says its mission is to "end injustices against immigrants regardless of immigration status and express radical welcome for all." 

The group was at 30th Street Station along with staff from the city Office of Emergency Management and the health department. Staff from the city were handing out warm winter coats as people got off the buses.

Many who were waiting for the buses were happy to see their relatives arrive, and one family CBS3 spoke with said they drove from Rochester, New York to greet arriving family members. 

They had been waiting all morning for the bus to arrive as it was unclear the exact time it would arrive.

"There are different stories," Pacheco said. "Some people are reuniting with family members right here, and people are picking them up. Others are trying to figure it out."

The buses arrived from Del Rio, Texas and Eagle Pass, Texas. 

In recent weeks, sanctuary cities have welcomed hundreds of asylum seekers of all ages. 

The operation moves quickly once asylum seekers get off the bus in Philadelphia. They get right onto another bus which will take them to a center in North Philadelphia where they will receive services like social and legal services, or healthcare if needed. 

Meanwhile, the Biden Administration has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to end Title 42 after Christmas. It is a pandemic-era policy meant to deter migrants from crossing the southern border. 

It was set to expire Wednesday, but Chief Justice John Roberts ordered it should stay in effect while 19 states challenge its expiration.

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