Posted For: Willie Wonka
Immigrants on a Texas bus bound for the Big Apple — which was supposed to go to several cities along the way to let passengers off — threatened to call cops when the driver said they wouldn’t be stopping in Tennessee, The Post has learned.
The charter bus is part of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s border initiative.
The Post was in Del Rio, Texas, Friday morning as immigrants boarded the bus which was supposed to stop in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Washington, D.C., before arriving at its final destination in New York City.
About 40 immigrants, a majority of the passengers, were supposed to get off in Chattanooga, they said.
By early Saturday, the bus driver told the asylum-seekers they would not be stopping in Chattanooga.
The unexpected change came after local authorities intercepted a Texas to DC bus in Georgia on Thursday, and threatened to arrest those aboard, according to several of the immigrants.
The sheriff in Dade County, Georgia, intercepted that vehicle and told those aboard to leave his county, a deputy from the department told FOX News.
Some of the passengers on the New York-bound bus became upset Saturday when the driver announced the change in itinerary, pleading for hours to make the planned stop. Many had plans to meet relatives or travel from Chattanooga.
“Two Cubans started to make a commotion. They were saying they needed to be let off the bus, over and over and over again and called the police,” said Jose, an immigrant on the bus who asked The Post not to use his last name for fear of retribution.
“The buses are supposed to be voluntary. That’s what we were told when we got on,” said Jose.
The immigrants, who are seeking asylum, are not considered illegal and have authorization to travel in the US. The state of Texas gave them envelopes with what bus stop they were supposed to get off at.
Ultimately, they said, the bus did stop in Chattanooga.
“We were dropped off at park about 45 minutes away from the airport and police were waiting for us there. They told us to stay at the park for our protection. We waited there until an Uber came to pick us up and took us to the airport,” said Jose.
The Texas Governor’s Office first denied there was a problem and later referred The Post to the Texas Department of Emergency Management for comment. The department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Jose and dozens of other immigrants were able to make their way to the Chattanooga airport, leaving only about five passengers on the New York-bound bus.
“I feel like they lied to us about what was going to happen on the bus. If the buses are supposed to be voluntary, then they should stick to that,” Jose said.