Buses of migrant seekers from Texas arrive in NYC
The first busloads of migrants sent by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott arrived at Port Authority Wednesday morning.
The governor’s controversial bussing program from the southern border resumed ahead of a COVID-era border policy that blocked many migrants from entry into the U.S.
The first bus pulled into Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown after 7 a.m., with 41 migrants on board coming from Laredo, Texas. Another is expected around 2 p.m.
“They have no choice but to get on these buses sponsored by Gov. Abbott, who is clearly using them for political purposes,” Manuel Castro, commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, told reporters at Port Authority on Wednesday.
The latest arrivals come less than two weeks before the expected lifting of Title 42, the pandemic-era border policy that prevented millions of migrants from seeking asylum at the border.
Officials worry ending the policy will mean a flood of migrants — both at the border and in NYC.
Around 53,000 migrants have arrived already, straining the city’s shelter system and sparking conflicts over policy and funding.
“Our disappointment is with the federal government that, almost a year into this humanitarian crisis, we are now back here at Port Authority welcoming people,” Castro said, pressing the federal government to stop the Lone Star governor from sending more buses.
“It’s becoming more of a crisis, because the federal government refuses to intervene and stop what Gov. Abbott is doing, to provide immediate relief to people,” he added.
The contentious initiative by Gov. Abbott charters buses to transport newly-arrived asylum seekers to Democrat-run cities, including New York.
Wednesday’s buses were the first sent by the Texas government since the program went on pause last fall. It’s unclear how many more buses might come or whether bussing will increase as more migrants cross the southern border.
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Adams and DHS officials have warned of a dramatic influx of migrants once Title 42 is lifted.
But other measures are now being taken to keep migrant numbers from skyrocketing, including new pre-screening centers in Guatemala and Colombia, a Biden policy that would prevent migrants passing through other countries to claim asylum in the U.S. and an increase in military personnel at the border.
Gov. Abbott’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
NYC has opened over 120 emergency shelters in hotels to host the migrants. It spends millions of dollars per day on housing and feeding the asylum seekers.
Castro said the Texas governor isn’t working with the city and the Adams administration learned of the buses from nonprofits in NYC.
Through jumbled rhetoric, Mayor Adams has decried the bussing program this week.
“Not only is this behavior morally bankrupt and devoid of any concern for the well-being of asylum seekers, but it is also impossible to ignore the fact that Abbott is now targeting five cities run by Black mayors,” Adams said on Monday, although he walked back on some of his statements Tuesday.