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Philadelphia mayor welcomes 20th bus of migrants, city hopes for more as most leave for NYC or Boston

Image courtesy 6ABC Philadelphia / YouTube (screenshot)

With the end of Title 42, waves of illegal migrants and asylum-seekers are being bused across the country from the U.S.-Mexico border. Continuous waves of people have resulted in at least 20 buses of migrants being sent to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but the mayor's office and local nonprofits say they are ready to welcome more.

"All of the individuals have legal means to be here in the United States, many are seeking asylum," said Christina Hernandez, chief of staff for Mayor Jim Kenney.

Nonprofits in the city have also welcomed the buses. "When they talk about buses going to Philadelphia, those buses are full of human beings," said Blanca Pacheco, of nonprofit New Sanctuary Movement. "Buses full of mothers, brothers, sisters and children."

"People have a right to claim asylum to look for safety, to look for survival, to look for protection. That's a legal right," she added.

New Sanctuary Movement is one of a dozen nonprofits and 10 city agencies assisting the migrants, according to CBS News.

The latest bus brought Venezuelan nationals, but like the city, the nonprofit said it expects and want more to come.

"We might face a big number of people coming to Philadelphia, and we're ready. We're ready to respond and treat people with humanity and values," Pacheco said.

City officials have also praised the sanctuary city status: "I'm grateful that public health is not being used to prevent people from exercising their right to seek asylum in the United States," said Dr. Cheryl Bettigole of the Philadelphia Department of Health.

Philadelphia has been able to process a vast majority of the migrants out of the city, however. WPVI Philadelphia reports that out of about 950 migrants, around 48 have chosen to remain in the city.

"They have moved on rather quickly to other cities," said Caroline Cruz, office of immigrant affairs for Philadelphia. "Predominantly to New York, Boston, Washington D.C., [and] Chicago," she added.

The mayor's chief of staff had a simple message for all new arrivals in the City of Brotherly Love: "You are welcomed here."

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