AUSTIN (KXAN) — Starting Friday, the city of Austin has been working to help get asylum seekers to the airport so they can fly to other destinations in the US. San Antonio turned to Austin for help after seeing an influx of asylum seekers arriving in his city. during their journey.
According to the City of Austin, between 40 and 120 asylum seekers may arrive at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport each day from San Antonio on charter buses after they are first processed at the Centro de Bienvenida/San Antonio Migrant Resource Center. Antonio. Before heading to AUS, they will stop at the Transportation Assistance Center to validate their paperwork and boarding passes.
“It is important to note that asylum seekers are legally allowed to move around the country and this partnership is designed to ensure their humane and efficient transit,” the City of Austin said in a press release.
Asylum seekers may come to the United States for any number of reasons, including persecution based on their race, religion, national origin, social group, or political opinion. They must go through an extensive process in order to apply for and receive the documents and permission to stay in the US, which the American Immigration Board describes on their website. These people have sponsors who are often not in the place where they are seeking asylum, and so these efforts help them get there.
What does this mean for Austinians?
The report said that San Antonio and Austin “effectively serve as a transit point” for people who are looking for flights to where their sponsors live.
Austin said his involvement will help streamline operations at the airport and reduce any traffic impact on Austin residents. He said that he did not expect that there would be more flights at the airport because of this.
Asylum seekers are not expected to stay overnight in Austin.
Austin said he plans to ask the federal government to fully reimburse him for his efforts.
Where do asylum seekers come from?
After crossing the US-Mexico border, claiming asylum, and going through the process, Customs and Border Protection releases asylum seekers from custody. Many are affiliated with nonprofit organizations that help them get to transportation hubs like San Antonio.
More than 365,000 asylum seekers have passed through San Antonio since January 2021, according to the city’s announcement. In December, an average of 1,206 people arrived daily, although more than 1,800 arrived on some days.