(The Center Square) – Democratic officials in Austin and San Antonio have announced a new plan to fly “guests coming from the border” north.
The plan is similar to one first implemented by the Department of Homeland Security under Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and by Democratic officials in El Paso.
Austin city officials said they were “coordinating travel support to help asylum seekers reach their sponsor destinations across the United States” by coordinating buses from San Antonio to Austin and flights out of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to cities nationwide.
Democratic officials in Austin and San Antonio on Jan. 13 began their taxpayer-funded travel service for foreign nationals who illegally crossed the border.
The goal is to “proactively manage the flow of people” out of their cities to relieve pressure on local social services, officials said. Their partnership “is designed to ensure their transit is done in a humane and efficient manner.
“Austin and AUS are effectively serving as a pass-through point for guests coming from the border area who need air transport to their sponsors’ destinations.”
Over 50 Texas counties have declared an invasion at the southern border with Mexico, arguing those illegally entering the country are not guests but pose a danger to communities nationwide. They also express support for Gov. Greg Abbott’s efforts to block illegal entry between ports of entry.
The states of Texas, Florida and others have sued Mayorkas over policies leading to mass release of illegal border crossers. They argue Mayorkas implemented illegal parole programs and an illegal visa system facilitating the movement of millions of people from all over the world into the country when laws established by Congress prohibit their entry.
Over a dozen of Mayorkas’ parole programs violate laws established by Congress, U.S. Rep. Mark Green, R-Tenn., argues in impeachment articles he filed. The U.S. House Homeland Security Committee, which he chairs, passed the articles early Wednesday morning.
The announcement comes as Democratic mayors and governors have decried receiving any more so-called asylum seekers and have asked for federal funding to deal with the influx. It also comes as law enforcement agencies nationwide have warned about crime surges, and public health officials have warned about communicable diseases spreading, directly linked to illegal foreign nationals arriving in cities across America.
Austin and San Antonio officials say they “will seek full reimbursement from the federal government, which is currently reimbursing San Antonio and other U.S. cities.” El Paso’s operations have been funded through FEMA, according to city data.
After illegal foreign nationals are processed at San Antonio’s Centro de Bienvenida/Migrant Resource Center, city officials are sending up to three buses totaling up to 120 people a day to Austin to be routed to the airport. They will be transported using charter buses, not public transportation, officials said.
Catholic Charities of San Antonio is providing assistance, staffing a 24/7 phone helpline, with “rebooking asylum seekers who have delayed/missed flights” and coordinating travel arrangements.
Since January 2021, the city of San Antonio has received and moved 365,000 illegal foreign nationals to cities nationwide. In December 2022, San Antonio had a daily average of 1,206 arrivals, with some days exceeding over 1,800, according to city data. Since July 2023, San Antonio officials have moved more than 120,000 people crossed the southern border and were released into Texas by the Biden administration.
Since April 2022, the state of Texas has bused more than 100,000 foreign nationals unlawfully released into Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott argues, to self-described sanctuary cities. The busing scheme is voluntary and paid for by Texas taxpayers, not the federal government.
Since April 2022, Texas has bused over 12,500 illegal foreign nationals to Washington, D.C.; since August 2022, over 37,500 to New York City and over 31,200 to Chicago; since November 2022, over 3,400 to Philadelphia. Since May 2023, Texas has bused over 16,000 to Denver; since June 2023, over 1,500 to Los Angeles.
Last year, Abbott began flights to Chicago after its Democratic mayor attempted to block the bus arrivals. New York City also sued buses chartered by Texas, also attempting to block entry and make them pay for millions of dollars worth of sanctuary city services.
While Democrats have blamed Abbott for the border crisis impacting their cities, they’ve received a fraction of the more than 1.9 million people who inundated Texas in fiscal 2023 alone.