New York Mayor Eric Adams claimed some migrants were ‘forced’ onto buses from Texas, as another 14 asylum seekers arrived in the city on Sunday in another bus sent by the governor of Texas, Greg Abbott.
Fifty-four asylum seekers arrived in New York on Friday on a bus from Texas, according to the mayor’s office of immigration affairs.
Abbott’s office said New York is now a “designated drop-off location for the bus strategy as part of the governor’s response to the Biden administration’s open border policies burdening Texas communities,” according to a statement released Friday announcing the arrival of the first bus. .
“It’s unimaginable what the governor of Texas has done,” Adams told reporters on Sunday. “When you think of this country, a country that has always been open to those fleeing persecution and other intolerable conditions, we have always welcomed that. And this governor isn’t doing that in Texas, but we’re going to set the right message, the right tone, to be here for these families.
A fierce critic of the Biden administration’s immigration policies, Abbott began sending hundreds of voluntary migrants on buses to Washington, DC, earlier this year as an affront to the administration. Abbott’s office said that “to board a bus or flight, a migrant must volunteer to be transported and show DHS documentation.”
More than 5,100 migrants arrived in Washington from Texas on more than 135 buses, according to the governor’s office.
“In addition to Washington, D.C., New York is the perfect destination for these migrants, who can benefit from the abundance of city services and housing that Mayor Eric Adams has boasted about in the sanctuary city,” Abbott said Friday. .
Manuel Castro, commissioner of the mayor’s office of immigration affairs, told CNN that New York is a right-to-shelter city, so anyone in need of shelter can receive it. However, the city has “run out” of its usual accommodation space, so it has rented additional spaces in hotels, he said.
“They’re families, they’re people,” Castro said. “They have a right to be here as asylum seekers and New York is here to welcome them. They honestly need a lot of support. They have come a long way to get here.
About 40 people were expected to arrive on Sunday, Adams said, adding that it’s not known if more got off the bus before it arrived in New York.
Some of the migrants who arrived on Sunday told the mayor they had relatives in other cities and had no plans to come to New York.
Some families “wanted to go to other places and they weren’t allowed to,” Adams said Sunday. “They were forced to get on the bus knowing they were going to other places they wanted to go, and when they tried to explain themselves they weren’t allowed to.”
Families whose desired destination was not New York said it took them three days to get to the city from Texas, according to Castro, who also met with them, noting that many “were hungry and thirsty, with young children”.
Adams issued an emergency declaration last week to “promptly provide shelter and other services” to people seeking asylum in the city. Those who want to stay in New York will go to shelters, and volunteer groups will help “those who want to go elsewhere” to go elsewhere, the mayor said.
New York Taxi Workers Alliance executive director Bhairavi Desai told CNN they have 19 yellow taxis and Uber cars ready to voluntarily transport refugees arriving from Texas from the bus stop to shelters or to homes of friends or family in the area Sunday morning.
“Everyone we saw seemed exhausted from the trip. A lot of people seemed relieved to finally be safe, but there were also people crying from the trauma,” Desai said.
“It’s wrong, and in our hollow city, it won’t work,” Desai added. “We wanted to do our part to let new neighbors know that they are welcome here, and in New York there are people who will help.”
About 4,000 asylum seekers have entered New York City’s shelter system since late May, according to Adams, who said the influx is the main driver behind a roughly 10% increase in the census of the city’s Department of Homeless Services. New York’s shelter system currently receives more than 100 asylum seekers seeking some form of housing per day, on average, according to the Department of Homelessness Services.
CNN asked the mayor’s office for the total number of migrants the city processes from Texas.
Typically, once migrants are processed by federal authorities and released from custody, they are allowed to travel throughout the country while they go through immigration court procedures. They are often released in Texas and other border states and then continue their journey to other parts of the country.
An immigration judge will ultimately decide if they are allowed to stay in the United States or be deported.