San Antonio – Dozens of local volunteers are welcoming migrants arriving at the Greyhound bus station downtown and are guiding them to their final destination.
“We used to welcome almost exclusively people who’d been released from ICE detention and now we’re seeing a lot more folks who have been released at the border and are traveling up to their families through San Antonio,” said Katie Myers, bus station outreach coordinator for the Interfaith Welcome Coalition.
Myers said they have seen an increase of migrants arriving from Del Rio over the last week.
Many families are Haitian and are traveling for different reasons.
“I think that the things that are going on that drive people to migrate have not changed, you know, issues of climate change, issues of justice, issues of crime and violence and ineffective governments and lack of opportunities,” Myers said.
Migrants say the recent devastating earthquake in Haiti and the assassination of their president is also why they’re leaving.
“There are certain places that have a reputation as places you definitely do not want to go and other places that are seen to be, you know, relatively safer,” Myers said.
When migrants arrive at the San Antonio bus station, volunteers with the Interfaith Welcome Coalition give them food, water, baby items and help guide them to their final destination.
“If they need to get to the airport because they’ve got a flight, we help them get to the airport. If they’re stuck here overnight and need shelter, then we help connect them with that as well,” Myers said.
They are working closely with other groups like Catholic Charities, RAICES, the City of San Antonio and the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas.
“It’s a real privilege and honestly, it makes you very humbled to be part of this experience,” Myers said.
Myers said they have about 70 to 90 volunteers who work seven days a week and welcome people to San Antonio.
To volunteer or donate, visit the Interfaith Welcome Coalition’s website here.