Philadelphia, PA

Here’s What Philadelphia Mayor Kenney Can Learn From Other Democratic Mayors On the Migrant Crisis (Opinion)

Tom Handy

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Mayor Jim Kenney and Texas migrantsPhoto byTwitter

Texas has been flooded with migrants crossing its border with Mexico as migrants were seeking asylum. Republican Governor Greg Abbott asked for support from Democratic President Joe Biden but his call was unanswered. So, Abbott took action.

Abbott began busing migrants to Washington, D.C., in April and even the home of Vice President Kamala Harris to show Biden and Harris what he was dealing with.

Then Governor Abbott started busing migrants to New York City in August.

And, in September, the Texas governor bussed migrants to Chicago.

Two of the three cities, Washington, D.C. under Mayor Muriel Bowser, and New York City under Mayor Eric Adams declared a State of Emergency. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot did not, but Illinois Governor, J.B. Pritzker did make a Disaster Proclamation. The three cities were overwhelmed by the number of migrants that were bussed to the city.

Mayors Bowser and Adams both requested support from the Biden administration but not much support was provided. Bowser even requested support from the National Guard but was denied. Mayor Adams tried to work his connection with President Biden, a fellow Democrat, but little support was reciprocated.

Both Bowser and Adams created an emergency shelter specifically for migrants bussed to their cities.

In my opinion, Adams did not think everything through and could have cost taxpayers a lot of money. He has spent time trying to house migrants on cruise ships, erecting and tearing down tent cities, and partnering with numerous hotels.

He recently said the cost to support, house, feed, medical support, and provide employment to migrants could add up to $2 billion.

But El Paso Texas Democratic Mayor Oscar Leeser was able to get some support from the federal government - this support was through FEMA. You see, Leeser did not believe the migrants were going to stay in the city.

However, El Paso spent its own money to bus migrants from the Southwestern city to sanctuary cities such as Chicago and New York City. The money did not come immediately, but the funds were trickling in.

But keep your eye on Title 42 which Judge Emmitt Sullivan granted five weeks to Biden before removing this policy on December 21. After that, the migrant waiting along the border will cross the border and you may see more buses arrive at 30th Street Station.

There is a plan for Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love. But Mayor Kenney, you need to empower your staff, do the research, and make the best decision for your city.

Spend wisely and don’t overspend. These are the tax dollars of your local residents.

Placing hope on President Biden to save you may not happen anytime soon. Congress is still at a standstill on resolving the immigration issue which will take years to resolve.

I live in Texas but a Philly native and want you to make the best decision going forward.

What do you think Philadelphia should do to support its migrants?

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