One day after denying he had organized a bus of migrants from the US-Mexico border to Philadelphia, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott made a U-turn and confirmed his administration is behind the charter.
The bus, carrying an estimated 30 immigrants, left for Philadelphia Tuesday, which will make it the fourth sanctuary city in the US to receive buses from Abbott when it arrives.
Philly officials received confirmation the bus was headed their way Tuesday, after days spent in the dark following a tipoff from a “community partner organization,” about the bus.
The city said it did not initially know who was sending the bus, when it would leave the Texas border town of Del Rio or when it would arrive in Pennsylvania.
“Texas officials have not coordinated with the City,” Philadelphia officials told The Post Tuesday.
However, Abbott’s office confirmed the migrants will be dropped off at Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station Wednesday morning. Sources previously told The Post the charter had originally been planned to depart the previous week but was mysteriously delayed.
“Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has long-celebrated and fought for sanctuary city status, making the city an ideal addition to Texas’ list of drop-off locations,” the Texas governor said in a statement.
For its part, Philadelphia is preparing to welcome the migrants “with open arms,” saying it’s been planning for this scenario since the summer.
“It is truly disgusting to hear today that Governor Abbott and his Administration continue to implement their purposefully cruel policy using immigrant families—including women and children—as pawns to shamelessly push his warped political agenda,” said the city in a statement Tuesday. “Sadly, racism and human cruelty have historically been intertwined in how immigrants are received by and within this country.”
Nearly 15 local community-based organizations and partners are involved in preparing for immediate reception and shelter space, emergency health screening, food, water and more, Sadat told The Post.
Abbott started busing immigrants from the Texas border to Washington, D.C. in April to provide relief to overrun Texas border communities.
Since then, the self-declared sanctuary cities of New York and Chicago have been added as recipients.
Abbott has sent about 300 buses to the first three cities, spending $26 million dollars on the busing program, according to the New York Times, which works out to about $86,000 per bus.
An independent program set up by the City of El Paso in Texas was forced to close after running up costs of millions of dollars busing migrants to New York and Chicago — two cities that Abbott’s state sponsored program also serves.
In September, Abbott said he had been planning to add other cities to his bus program.
“There will be other cities in the future that also will be receiving migrants, because we will continue to have to move migrants because Joe Biden continues to allow more illegal immigrants to come into the state of Texas,” Abbott said.