Above Video: Busing Migrants: The Final Leg of Smuggling Routes
The population importation by Greyhound and charter buses began in earnest in Del Rio and from all major crossing points along the southern border shortly after President Biden took office.
DEL RIO, Texas — On a recent evening with the night ahead looking long, an idling charter bus parked on a lot prepared to disperse a new kind of import throughout the American landscape.
The bus and a small van nearby were packed with 60 or so mostly Haitian families fresh out of the Rio Grande from their illegal crossings.
After testing negative for Covid and other processing, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security had given them legal documents and released them to a local nongovernmental organization, the Val Verde Border Humanitarian Coalition, just blocks from the river in this south Texas border town.
For another day or so, coalition volunteers helped them arrange to wire in money for bus tickets and lodging in the cities to which the buses will take them. Like at least 20 other buses that had each carried 50 people in just the first three weeks of March, this one soon rumbled onto the long road from this Texas border town carrying happy, chattering passengers to new American lives in Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach in Florida, as well as Newark, N.J.
“They feel happy because they’re in the United States,” said Lorenzo Ortiz of the El Buen Samaritano Migrante church, who helps coordinate the daily bus rides from Del Rio to where the new immigrants say they want to go. “They want to get as soon as possible to their destination. They’re all going to apply for asylum. They’re all good people.”
A Vast Unseen Conveyor Belt from Border to Interior America
The buses rolling in a steady daily succession out of Del Rio — one charter a day, seven days a week, and before that weeks of filling Greyhound buses — represent a microcosm of a much broader aspect of the unfolding mass-migration crisis at the southern border that has attracted limited media coverage and occurs largely outside public view. Tens of thousands of immigrants caught illegally crossing the border and then released under the new leniency policy of President Joe Biden are now dispersing to four corners of the United States on buses, with some of the more moneyed ones taking passenger jets.
By Todd Bensman