PROSPECT HEIGHTS — After two busloads of migrants, sent directly from Texas by Gov. Greg Abbott, arrived in New York City last week, Mayor Eric Adams renewed calls for the federal government to help the city deal with the unexpected influx of newcomers.
The first bus, carrying 50 migrants, arrived at Port Authority Bus Terminal on Aug 5, followed by a second, carrying 14 passengers, on Aug. 7.
The arrivals prompted a contentious war of words between Adams and Abbott, in which Adams declined Abbott’s invitation to tour the southern border “to see firsthand the dire situation” the governor said exists.
“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. “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.”
Adams met with the migrants that arrived in the city on Aug. 7. He later took to his Twitter account to call out Abbott for sending them in the first place and to request federal assistance.
“[Abbott] used innocent people as political pawns to manufacture a crisis,” Adams wrote. “New Yorkers are stepping up to fix it — that’s our city’s values. But we need the federal government’s help — money, technical assistance, and more.”
The move by Abbott comes at a time when the city’s shelters are already strained by an influx of almost 3,000 migrants from Latin America. At one point in late July, Adams admitted the city was unable to provide same-day housing for adults who arrived by 10 p.m. and was therefore violating the state’s “right-to-shelter” law.
Meanwhile, Texas continues to deal with an immigration crisis of its own. U.S. Customs and Border Protection encountered about 207,000 migrants at the southwest land border in June, according to agency data, marking the fourth consecutive month of more than 200,000 encounters. The data for July hasn’t been released yet.
When announcing the sending of the first bus of migrants to New York, Abbott reiterated the challenges Texas border communities face.
“Because of President Biden’s continued refusal to acknowledge the crisis caused by his open border policies, the State of Texas has had to take unprecedented action to keep our communities safe,” Abbott said in an Aug. 5 statement.
The governor began sending the buses of migrants to D.C. in April. To date, there have been more than 6,500 migrants bused to the nation’s capital on more than 160 buses, according to Abbott’s press office, and in recent weeks about three to four buses have made the trip each day. Migrants board the buses voluntarily, the spokesman said, after they are processed by U.S. immigration officials.