A park in downtown San Antonio has turned into a waiting area for migrants who are exempt from Title 42, the pandemic order that allows immigration agents to swiftly return migrants to Mexico.
Katie Myers from Interfaith Welcome Coalition says that, on average, between 150 and 200 migrants arrive at this bus station every day. Many of them are arriving with no money, which results in them sleeping in the park.
“There might have been 20 or 25 men in the park,” shared Katie.
Pastor Gavin Rogers shares that he recently opened a shelter at Travis Park Church to assist those in need. “They can shower, they can eat, they can receive the proper food and they can wait safely until they get through San Antonio,” shared Pastor Rogers.
The city’s mayor recently sent a letter to the Biden administration about the “unsustainable increase” of migrants. His administration warned that if Title 42 lifts, the city’s ability to meet the humanitarian need could be “limited.”
Meanwhile U.S Congressman Henry Cuellar represents this area and he’s opposing his party on Title 42, saying the Biden administration intends to end the policy.
“They said we’re going to notify the not-for-profits that more people are coming. That’s not a plan. That’s just a notification,” shared Cuellar. “They said we’re going to bring some of the agents from the northern border over here. That’s only temporary.”
Today, another 300 to 500 migrants continue being dropped off at the airport daily and many are given cellphones issued and geo-located by the U.S. government.
Migrant, Jessy Amaya has been in Roger’s church for 21 days after leaving his home country over fear of political prosecution. He says he’s waiting for his wife who is still in Mexico waiting to cross, and worried for her safety. Amaya plans to wait for his family and to one day call San Antonio his home.