HIAS Steps Up to Help Asylum Seekers, Migrants Bused and Flown From Border States
Sep 15, 2022
SILVER SPRING, Md. – HIAS is working to help coordinate the humanitarian response as the governors of Texas, Arizona, and Florida continue to send thousands of migrants on buses, and now, airplanes, to states perceived as more welcoming to immigrants.
“HIAS is engaged in this effort because these buses are dropping off migrants and asylum seekers in our own backyard, and we have the experience and capacity to help,” said Melanie Nezer, HIAS’ Vice President of Global Public Affairs. “Our response is rooted in the belief that, while these governors have made the choice to treat people like packages, we need to treat people with the respect and compassion all human beings deserve.”
Since April, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has provided funding to bus migrants and asylum seekers from Texas to Washington, D.C. In May, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey joined the effort. Since the first trips, nearly 10,000 people have arrived in Washington, D.C. During the late summer, Texas and Arizona also started to send buses to New York City and Chicago. This week, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis adopted the tactic and sent two planes of asylum seekers, mostly Venezuelans, to Martha’s Vineyard.
“The U.S. government has granted permission to every single person on these buses and planes to be in the United States and to seek asylum,” Nezer continued. “After getting off the bus, many have no idea where they are. They have immediate emergency housing, health, and legal needs. That’s why HIAS has joined a coalition of local, national and international organizations to make the response as effective as possible in every place where these asylum seekers and migrants are arriving.”