Texas sends first migrant bus to Philadelphia as Gov. Greg Abbott targets sanctuary cities

A bus carrying migrants departed Tuesday from Texas and is expected to arrive in Philadelphia, the latest city targeted by Gov. Greg Abbott as a drop-off point for illegal immigrants in an effort to bring attention to the Biden administration’s border policies.

Abbott has already sent hundreds of buses with illegal immigrants to Chicago, New York City and Washington, D.C., in recent months.

“Since April, Texas’ busing strategy has successfully provided much-needed relief to our border communities overwhelmed by the historic influx of migrants caused by President Biden‘s reckless open border policies,” Abbott said in a statement.

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“Until the Biden Administration does its job and provides Texans and the American people with sustainable border security, Texas will continue doing more than any other state in the nation’s history to defend against an invasion along the border, including adding more sanctuary cities like Philadelphia as drop-off locations for our busing strategy,” he added.

The migrants will be dropped off at the William H. Gray III 30th Street Station in Philadelphia on Wednesday morning, Abbott said.

“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,” a news release from the governor’s office said.

The announcement of the Philadelphia-bound bus came a day after Abbott’s office told Fox News Digital there were no plans to send migrants to the City of Brotherly Love.

A bus carrying migrants arrived in Washington, D.C., near Vice President Kamala Harris’ residence, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has sent hundreds of buses with migrants to sanctuary cities to bring attention to the Biden administration’s border policies.
(Fox News Channel)

“We are currently only busing migrants to Washington, D.C., New York City, and Chicago,” a spokesperson for Abbott told Fox News Digital on Monday.

Fox News Digital has reached out to the office of Philadelphia Mayor James Kenney.

Texas has bussed nearly 8,300 migrants to Washington, D.C., more than 3,500 migrants to New York City and more than 1,100 migrants to Chicago so far this year.

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The bus operation began as a way to bring relief to overwhelmed border communities in Texas that have faced the brunt of record numbers of migrants coming into the United States, Abbott has said.

In fiscal year 2022, there were more than 2.3 million migrant encounters at the southern border.

Fox News’ Paul Best contributed to this report.