Texas promises to send more asylum seekers to New York

Texas officials had no immediate response to the alleged treatment other than to double down on a promise to send more asylum seekers north — another salvo in a widening election-year showdown between the tough to immigration Abbott to Democrats in New York and the White House on border issues.

Mayor Eric Adams used his Monday morning press conference to contrast New York’s values ​​with those of Texas and its governor. The Adams administration has complained for weeks that the city’s housing system has been inundated with asylum seekers sent here from border states.

A New York law requires local governments to provide shelter to qualified homeless people who have nowhere to go.

“It’s just a mean, cruel thing he does,” Adams said of Abbott. “Someone is looking for refuge from leaving a horrible environment, and ‘that’s how we treated them in Texas,’ not the people of Texas but the Governor of Texas, but that’s not who we are as New Yorkers.”

“There’s nothing more un-American than what he’s doing right now,” he added.

In a statement last week on the bus strategy, which Texas officials call Operation Lone Star, Abbott noted that 6,500 immigrants had been transported north, many of them to Washington, D.C.

“New York City 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 in a statement. “I hope he keeps his promise to welcome all migrants with open arms so that our overrun and overwhelmed border towns can find relief.”

A political fight

Abbott is trying to retain the governorship and is locked in an increasingly tight race against Democrat Beto O’Rourke, a former congressman. Democrats have described the bus strategy as a stunt intended to stoke the conservative base.

On Friday, Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, said Abbott was using immigrants “as a political ploy. I mean, he did, and it’s shameful.

Thielmann of Team TLC said many immigrants came from Mexico, Honduras and Venezuela, with some coming from as far away as Argentina.

A number of travelers were suffering from exhaustion after spending, in some cases, weeks on foot crossing the Mexican desert to reach the border. A few needed immediate medical attention before being moved to shelters in the city or, in a few cases, to relatives.

Thielmann added that the 12-year-old arrived on the bus from Texas on Friday. The child “hadn’t had insulin for days and she was clearly in crisis,” Thielmann said. Gothamist’s questions about Texas provisions for asylum seekers were referred to the state’s Division of Emergency Management, which did not immediately respond.

Thielmann added that his organization has sponsored bus tickets for several immigrants who have relatives in North Carolina and Virginia and have since left New York.

A “humanitarian crisis”

Last week, Abbott invited Adams and Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser to Texas to witness “the humanitarian crisis” on the border.

“Local communities are being overrun by record numbers of illegal immigrants as President Biden’s reckless open border policies have invited mass migration and transnational criminal activity into communities across Texas,” he said. in the press release.

But Thielmann insisted that the people arriving in New York “are not illegal immigrants”.

“These are people who are following a legal procedure for seeking asylum under our immigration laws.”

Activists said many immigrants had their belongings confiscated at the border, including birth certificates and other identification documents.

“Even their Bibles were taken away from them,” said Maryann Tharappel of Catholic Charities New York, speaking on The Brian Lehrer Show.

City officials estimate that more than 4,000 immigrants have arrived in the city in the past two months and that number is beginning to strain the city’s resources.

The Adams administration has said it is engaged in conversations with the White House about federal aid.

“Friday the teams were talking at a lower level and now we’re going to have a higher level conversation with the White House,” Adams said, “and they seem to be extremely responsive to the needs, and they’re seeing what’s going on in the city. .”

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