DEL RIO, Texas (Border Report) — While the state of Texas has spent more than $12 million to send migrants to cities such as New York, Washington D.C. and Chicago, some migrants are bailing before the buses reach their final destination.
Migrants, who are given the choice whether to get on the buses, can also get off anywhere and any time.
NewsNation has been following a migrant bus from Del Rio, Texas to Washington D.C., and discovered that even though migrants agree to stay on the bus for the duration of the trip, and most do make it there, they are not forced to remain on board, and typically some do get off.
One migrant, Josman Alvarado from Venezuela, got off his bus in Nashville.
“I just want to see my family who I haven’t seen in one month and one day,” Alvarado said in Spanish.
He said he fled his country because he was not a supporter of the regime and felt his life was in danger.
“I want to start a new life where I won’t be persecuted,” he said. “I want to start anew.”
Alvarado said a relative got him an airline ticket from Nashville to New Jersey, where his family lives.
After getting off the bus and saying goodbye to other migrants, he took an Uber to the airport.
Since April, when Texas Gov. Greg Abbott started busing migrants, more than 9,000 asylum-seekers have been put on buses.
Some call it an expensive stunt. The White House referred to it as a “political stunt” a few months back.
On average, according to the Texas Department of Emergency Management, the state is spending about $1,300 per migrant.
Typical airfare from South Texas to D.C. or New York runs about $400 and a normal bus trip is even less than that.