Asylum-seekers bound for Philadelphia? What it means for NJ
Days after Democratic candidates in Pennsylvania clinched major wins for governor and U.S. Senate — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has reportedly considered sending another bus of unauthorized immigrants and asylum-seekers to arrive in a far-away locale.
This time, according to Axios, the planned destination for migrants could be Philadelphia.
New Jersey remained ready to support local emergency management operations as needed, should such individuals arrive in neighboring states, according to officials.
“New Jersey is a state that believes in helping others and recognizes the humanity of anyone seeking a better life for themselves and their families. Under Governor Murphy, New Jersey will continue to uphold the American ideal imprinted under Lady Liberty by standing ready to support all those ‘yearning to breathe free,’” Deputy Press Secretary Christi Peace said in a written statement Monday.
When Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis sent a chartered flight of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard in September, Gov. Phil Murphy slammed the “stunt” and called it heartless.
Just days later on Sept. 20, a network of volunteers mobilized to meet a plane arriving at Teterboro Airport believed to have migrants aboard.
The New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice shared photos of the coalition of “attorneys, faith leaders, translators, pantries and shelters,” saying on Twitter that “NJ isn’t shocked by migration. Most New Jerseyans have a direct family tie to immigration. It doesn’t matter if it’s one person or one hundred — this is a #NJforALL.”
An asylum seeker is a person who has left their country and is seeking protection from persecution and serious human rights violations in another country, for whom a decision is pending, as defined by Amnesty International.
Some Republican lawmakers have also criticized such relocation trips as stunting, including Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, who said "Let’s just try to address the issue…rather than trying to get on TV.”
According to a Pew report in August, some bus trips orchestrated by republican governors actually prompted a number of those onboard to instead settle into other states before the charter's final destination.
“I understand Texas’ problem but don’t just put people on a bus and let them get off anywhere. That’s not a solution,” Georgia state Rep. Mike Cameron, a republican, previously said to Pew.
Cameron had objected to such buses stopping in at least one Georgia county — which the report said was eventually ended.