AUSTIN (KXAN) — As Title 42 expires Thursday into Friday, Austin says it’s working to help other Texas cities with the expected influx of migrants.
Five days a week, Austin will bus roughly 50 migrants from San Antonio — which has a migrant shelter — to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. From there, migrants will fly to a more permanent spot.
“That’s gonna help them by being able to move asylum seekers to their sponsor’s hometown and be able to bring the number that are in the migrant resource center that down to the level that they can handle,” Juan Ortiz, the director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for the City of Austin, said.
Ortiz said at this point, the city is only helping with transport and doesn’t have the capacity to help anyone who isn’t already sent to our city with a ticket, which migrants will get from a nonprofit in San Antonio.
When asked why Austin hasn’t opened a shelter itself, Ortiz explained: “There hasn’t been a need for that at this point in time. We are monitoring the conditions along the border.”
Catholic Charities of Central Texas said even though migrants aren’t necessarily coming to Central Texas, it’s ready to help too. For two decades, it’s helped people navigate the legal side of immigration and in 2022 it started a refugee program.
“Many of these individuals aren’t going to be coming to the Austin area or even staying in Texas, they’re going to spread throughout the country so we are prepared in that should any of them come to our offices seeking any legal consultation,” Justin Estep, senior director of immigration and refugee services at Catholic Charities of Central Texas, said.
Estep also said that the legal process could get more complicated. He said Title 42 ending is going to make an already backlogged system worse.
“Hopefully there will be resources put towards this issue so that folks can have their cases adjudicated as soon as possible and we can get through this backlog as soon as possible,” he said.