A bus carrying about 50 migrants arrived in New York City Friday, part of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s effort to ship newcomers that arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border to Democrat-run cities on the east coast.
In April, the governor ordered the Texas Division of Emergency Management to charter buses to transport migrants to Washington D.C. — since then, “thousands of migrants have been transported to the nation’s capital while providing much needed relief to Texas’ overwhelmed border communities,” according to a statement from Abbott’s office.
In total, 6,200 migrants have been sent to Washington D.C. from Texas, with an additional 1,000 bused in from Arizona, per the New York Times. Most, if not all, of the migrants are seeking asylum, and are often greeted by officials after being released by Border Patrol and offered a free ride to the East Coast.
‘We’re full in the state of Texas’: It’s a response, Abbott says, to an increase in border crossings under President Joe Biden, who has sought to repeal a number of hardline immigration policies enacted by his predecessor Donald Trump.
“Public officials across the country, they do need to realize the magnitude of the chaos created by Biden’s open border policies. They're up in arms about a few thousand people coming into their communities over the past few months,” Abbot told Fox News’ Jesse Watters.
“Listen, in any one sector in the state of Texas we have more than 5,000 people come across that sector every single day. Listen, we’re full in the state of Texas. Our communities are overrun and I started busing people to Washington D.C. when local officials could not handle the number of people that had come across our border,” the Texas governor said.
While the border has seen an unprecedented number of crossings and subsequent arrests, the reality is many of Trump’s policies have remained in place during the Biden presidency, the result of numerous lawsuits spearheaded by Republican states.
The Supreme Court did allow the administration to scrap Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy in late June — but courts have also blocked Biden from repealing deportation policies and Title 42, which allows agents to turn away asylum seekers to stop the spread of COVID-19.
D.C., New York mayors respond: Earlier in the week, New York Mayor Eric Adams announced an emergency procurement declaration to ready shelters and services to people seeking asylum in New York City.
The city has a “right to shelter” law, which requires officials to provide housing to every unhoused person that qualifies.
“New York is a city of immigrants, and we will always welcome newcomers with open arms. Over the past two months, we have seen a significant increase in the number of asylum seekers arriving in our city’s shelter system,” said Adams, who claimed nearly 4,000 asylum seekers arrived in the city, most by way of Washington D.C., since May.
On Friday, Adams called the move “cowardly” during a press conference.
“They sent them away. They sent them out of the state. Our country is home of the free, land of the brave. We do not become cowards and send people away looking for help,” he said. “All of us came from somewhere, even from Texas, they came from somewhere. And so they should not have sent people away that were seeking refuge.”
And in Washington D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser called the policy “cruel political gamesmanship from the governors of Texas and Arizona,” in a letter to the White House.
Bowser asked the Defense Department to activate the National Guard to help, claiming the city was reaching a “tipping point” that “overwhelmed” resources.