Brimming with an overflow of Central American migrants, the South Texas city of San Antonio became a drop-off point this month for hundreds more asylum seekers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
City Hall officials – scrambling for French translators – told local media outlets that the arrival of African migrants caught them by surprise. But police officers told FAIR they got a heads up that 1,200 more Congolese were en route from the U.S.-Mexico border.
In addition to being ravaged by a bloody civil war, the DRC is also wracked by one of the deadliest Ebola outbreaks in history, with more than 2,000 cases reported in the last 10 months.
Fleeing the chaos and disease, migrants said they left their Central African homeland for Brazil before turning north toward the U.S. The refugees who arrived in the Alamo City reportedly traveled with a group through Ecuador.
While San Antonio and local charities raise $14,000 for bus tickets to send the Congolese deeper into the U.S. interior, the situation again highlights the pressing need for safe third-country agreements. Under such accords, asylum seekers are required to apply for protection in the country where they first land — not the country where they ultimately want to settle.
Reaching a safe third-country pact with Mexico is a top priority for the Trump administration, and it ought to be. But that should not permit other countries to continue waving through migrants from the DRC and other trouble spots.