(Philadelphia) Two buses, with 88 migrants on board, arrived at the start of the day on Friday in Philadelphia, in the northeastern United States, from Texas, AFP learned from associations helping newcomers. arrivals.
The people, mostly men, but also five children and several women, are mostly from Colombia and Nicaragua and have crossed the US border not far from Eagle Pass in Texas, the same source said.
For several months, Texas and other conservative states in the south have been chartering buses to send migrants from Latin America to the Democratic metropolises of the American Northeast, thus sending a political signal on immigration .
“They weren’t sure what to expect when they arrived in Philadelphia, they were positively surprised that we were there welcoming them with something to keep them warm, because it’s very cold here right now,” he told AFP. Emilio, representative of the Casa de Venezuela association, who was one of those who mobilized to welcome them.
“We are now trying to find a definitive solution for them. Several want to join New York”, two hours by road to the north, added Emilio, who did not wish to give his surname.
Contacted by AFP, the office of Texas Governor Greg Abbott did not respond.
This new operation comes a few days before the lifting of a special procedure, called “Title 42”, which allows the American authorities to deport without delay migrants who try to cross the American border.
The measure, put in place in 2020 by the Trump administration, found its justification in the COVID-19 pandemic, but was criticized by its detractors who considered it “inhumane” and did not allow legal recourse.
Extended in mid-November by an American judge, “Title 42” is due to end on December 21.
If the two buses were indeed chartered by the authorities of Texas, it would not be a first, many Republican governors in the south have already carried out similar operations towards states located in the north and considered as Democratic lands.
In mid-September, the governor of Florida and potential candidate for the 2024 presidential election Ron DeSantis claimed responsibility for sending two migrant planes to the upscale island of Martha’s Vineyard (northeast), a vacation spot for the wealthiest. and known for hosting the Kennedys, the Clintons or the Obamas.
The previous week, his Texan counterpart, then in the midst of his re-election campaign, had sent two migrant buses near the residence of Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris in Washington.
Since April, Texas has sent several thousand migrants to Washington, New York or Chicago.
According to specialists, half of the labor shortage observed in the United States, estimated in total at around 3.5 million jobs by the Federal Reserve, is linked to the lack of migrants.