Are migrants being forced onto buses and planes?

Migrants wave as a bus leaves to take them to a refugee center outside Union Station in Chicago, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022. Chicago officials say 75 immigrants have arrived in the city on buses from Texas, as part of an aggressive border policy by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office confirmed that the migrants arrived Wednesday night and that the city has welcomed them and will make sure they receive shelter and food. (Anthony Vazquez /Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

(NewsNation) — For some migrants, the trip on the bus is their choice, as NewsNation’s Southwest Correspondent Ali Bradley found when she and NewsNation’s partner Border Report chronicled the journey of one bus headed from the southern border to the nation’s capital.

Buses are free and are voluntary for migrants wanting to relocate to another sanctuary city. In Texas, Abbott said his program is voluntary.

Each migrant wears a wristband with a barcode, which when scanned shows their release paperwork from U.S. Border Patrol and also their consent form.

Migrants are able to get off the bus at any stop. None of them are required to stay on the bus. They’re free to get off anytime, anywhere.

NewsNation is told while most migrants do make it all the way to their vehicle’s final destination, some will typically get off the buses beforehand if it better suits their travel plans.

However, Manuel Castro, New York City’s immigrant affairs commissioner, expressed “concern that (migrants) are being forced or intimidated to stay on the bus to arrive here in New York City,” the New York Post reported.

Murad Awawdeh, the executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, criticized Abbott for “busing people under misleading information to places that they do not want to go,” the New Yorker reported.


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