This article was originally published in The Hill, on May 7, 2024.

The supplemental border bill’s spectacular failure in Congress has wrought many devastating consequences. Among them is the U.S. government’s inability to effectively move migrants away from the overwhelmed larger cities to other parts of the country that would happily receive them. Non-governmental organizations and the government must work together to send migrants to such cities, ensuring adequate resettlement and employment options while saving taxpayer dollars. 

For years, millions of taxpayer dollars have been spent transferring migrants to select locations. Between April 2022 and November 2023, Texas alone spent $86.1 million to bus 66,200 migrants and asylum seekers from the border to these six cities: Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C (four of which rank among the most expensive in the country). Arizona spent $5.7 million to transport 26,513 asylum seekers to these same cities between January and November 2023, and Florida allocated $12 million to do so in FY2022-23.

Due to overcrowding and high housing prices, these six cities are often not even the final destination. After their arrival, more money is spent transporting migrants elsewhere — sometimes even back to the same state they came from. In 2023, Denver spent $4.3 million to help migrants and asylum seekers travel to their final destination — which, for several hundred individuals, was Texas. New York City opened a Reticketing Center to provide free plane tickets for travel to any location, including back to Florida and Texas

Sending people to only six U.S. cities with some of the highest cost of living is logistically and fiscally unsustainable. 

Full article here.