SAN ANTONIO – With hundreds of migrants arriving in San Antonio every day, bussed up from the border, the city opened a Migrant Resource Center on Thursday to the surprise of residents in the nearby Shearer Hills and Ridgeview neighborhood.
City officials say asylum-seeking migrants have been arriving from the border in droves after federal authorities process them. More than 198,000 migrants have passed through the city since April 2021. The city plans to use the new resource center in a former CPS Energy customer service building in the 7000 block of San Pedro Avenue as a one-stop shop to help them continue to their final destinations.
Of the 600 migrants who arrive daily in San Antonio, the city says 500 need a place to stay overnight. And while previously, many had been going straight to the airport, those who didn’t have immediate travel plans ended up milling around Travis Park downtown, where groups like the Interfaith Welcome Coalition tried to help them with food and shelter.
Now, the city says migrants will be able to get case management, access to rest areas, food, and rides to an overnight shelter or their continuing travel at the resource center.
The city has previously said it does not purchase tickets for migrants, though its partners might be reimbursed through the same FEMA program that the city plans to fund the resource center.
However, residents of the neighborhood behind the building hadn’t been aware of the city’s plans and had mixed reactions when asked about it Thursday.
Annette Davidson, a 17-year resident, said there are already numerous homeless people who come through the area, and she was concerned the migrant resource center would bring more crime.
“A lot more robbery going on because -- a lot more just theft, you know? A lot more people wandering the neighborhoods that don’t belong,” Davidson said.
The next street over, Monica Rodriguez-Luna hadn’t heard about the center either, but she was not as concerned.
“I think it’s great. Whatever we can do to help,” she said. “I think San Antonio is a great city, has shown to be very supportive of our immigrants. And so, I have no issues with it.”
The city says that the resource center is expected to remain open through 2022 or until the number of migrant arrivals no longer requires it. It will be funded by reimbursements through FEMA’s Emergency Food and Shelter Program.
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