Business owners near Migrant Resource Center notice sharp drop in migrants

SAN ANTONIO – Outside the Migrant Resource Center, the parking lot is pretty deserted. It’s a drastic change from a few months ago, where hundreds of migrants waited to get in.

“As of today we have hardly anyone coming in at all,” said Lori Haney, who works in the strip mall near the MRC.

Haney has spoken with dozens of migrants since the center opened in 2021.

“At the beginning, they were coming up to ask for money, for food,” Haney said.

But she said that hasn’t happened as often in the last two weeks.

“It seemed like we started to see a decrease of individuals coming into the store or even in the sidewalk, you know, or in the street walking through the, the parking lot,” Haney said.

KSAT spoke with several business owners who said they’ve seen fewer people.

At least 20,000 migrants passed through San Antonio each month between July 2023 and December 2023, according to the city’s migrant dashboard.

In January 2024, 8,264 migrants passed through. Each month after that had around 6,000 migrants or less.

Some say they noticed the dip when President Biden announced his executive order restricting the number of migrants seeking asylum at the border.

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar were at the White House supporting the executive order.

Republicans criticized it, asking why the president waited so long.

As for the Migrant Resource Center, it could stay open through September 2026 with federal funding.

Haney has watched some migrants struggle, and hopes they get help to adapt.

“They’re coming here with no knowledge of what really has to be learned or known or what to do,” she said. “And then they come with no personal essentials, no money. A lot of them say they don’t have no money at all. So it’s pretty sad to see that happening.”

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