Immigration

‘This is horrific,’ New York City mayor says of Abbott’s policy as second busload of Texas migrants arrive

In an expansion of the governor’s plan to bus migrants from the Texas border to East Coast cities, 64 asylum-seekers arrived in New York City over the weekend.

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A bus carrying migrants from Texas arrives in New York City on Sunday, the second such bus to arrive in the city since Gov. Greg Abbott announced that New York would join Washington, D.C., as a destination for migrants being bused from the border.

When a second busload of migrants arrived in New York City from the Texas border on Sunday, Mayor Eric Adams was there to greet them — and again slam Gov. Greg Abbott for the move.

"This is horrific, when you think about what the governor is doing," Adams said at the Port Authority bus terminal, where 14 migrants were dropped off early Sunday morning, Politico reported.

Officials had expected 40 people to be on the bus, but Adams said some migrants appear to have gotten off at other stops along the route. Adams said some migrants were forced onto the bus, including families who wanted to go to locations other than New York, according to Politico.

Since April, Abbott has been sending newly arrived migrants to Democratic-leaning cities on the East Coast to put pressure on the Biden administration to secure the southwest border. More than 6,000 migrants have arrived in Washington, D.C., from Texas, prompting Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser to ask the U.S. Department of Defense to deploy the National Guard to help with the migrants. CNN reported Friday morning that the Pentagon has denied Bowser's request.

On Friday, Abbott announced that buses would start going to New York City; 50 migrants arrived in the city on Friday.

"In addition to Washington, D.C., New York City is the ideal destination for these migrants, who can receive the abundance of city services and housing that Mayor Eric Adams has boasted about within the sanctuary city," Abbott said in a statement. "I hope he follows through on his promise of welcoming all migrants with open arms so that our overrun and overwhelmed border towns can find relief.”

Last week, Adams announced emergency measures to increase shelter capacity for asylum-seekers. New York's shelter system receives more than 100 asylum-seekers who are looking for some form of housing each day, which has put a strain on the city's shelter system.

"What Gov. Abbott is doing is cruel, misleading people," Manuel Castro, commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs in New York, told Politico. "But we won't fall for these scare tactics, and we are going to make sure asylum-seekers have the resources and support they need here in New York."

Abbott, who is running for reelection, has been sparring with Democratic mayors over their immigration policies for months. The Republican governor said the busing of migrants will provide "much-needed relief to overwhelmed local communities along the border." But critics of Abbott say he is using migrants as pawns in a cynical plot that does little to actually solve border problems.

The program is voluntary for migrants, and the state pays for the buses. Abbott's office has said migrants transported to other cities have already been processed and released by the Department of Homeland Security.

Abbott also invited Adams and Bowser on Monday to visit the state's southern border to "see the humanitarian crisis firsthand." Adams' office dismissed the invitation.

Disclosure: Politico has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here.

The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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