The city of San Antonio said Jan. 13 it is partnering with the city of Austin to coordinate travel support to help asylum seekers reach their sponsor destinations across the United States in a timely and efficient manner.

A news release said this form of help is designed to provide a humane, efficient way to support the city and its partners and not disrupt nor delay travelers at the airport.

San Antonio officials said the city recently experienced fluctuations in the number of immigrants seeking transportation from San Antonio. The release said asylum seekers are legally permitted to move throughout the country, and this partnership is designed to ensure their transit is done in a humane, coordinated way.

“San Antonio will continue to be a welcoming, kind and compassionate city,” Deputy City Manager Maria Villagomez said in a statement. “We are grateful to our neighbors in Austin for partnering with us to make sure asylum seekers reach their host city destination.”

The release said the city of San Antonio will keep seeking full reimbursement from the federal government to cover costs related to assisting asylum seekers. Prior to leaving San Antonio, all asylum seekers are required to complete initial processing and are prebooked for flights leaving from the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport before they leave San Antonio’s Centro de Bienvenida/Migrant Resource Center.

The release said San Antonio estimates between 40-120 asylum seekers arrive via bus to Austin each operating day to make a pit stop at a transportation assistance center in the city before being taken to Austin-Bergstrom to board their prebooked flights.

This is to ensure effective use of staff resources and that airport operations continue to run efficiently using existing airline capacity, the release said, adding there are no increased flights or airline activity due to this operation at either ABIA or the San Antonio International Airport.

Juan Ortiz, director of the city of Austin’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, said his city has a longstanding partnership with San Antonio and is happy to take advantage of an opportunity to return the support they provided to Austin in previous situations.

“Our goal is to support our neighboring cities, help asylum seekers be able to reach their sponsor destinations safely and with dignity, while also maintaining a busy airport and capacity to continue to respond to local emergency needs,” Ortiz said in a statement.

The release said Catholic Charities of San Antonio also provides the city of Austin with an around-the-clock phone helpline for help with rebooking asylum seekers who have delayed or missed flights.