Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said his state has started busing migrants straight to New York, as he seeks to make other communities share a little bit of the struggles his state has faced with the Biden migrant surge.
The Republican governor has shipped thousands of migrants to the District of Columbia over the last four months, and New York City Mayor Eric Adams had complained that some of them were spilling over into his city. But Mr. Abbott said this is the first busload that Texas has been sent straight to the Big Apple.
His move comes just days after he invited — and the mayor rebuffed — an invitation to visit the border and get a first-hand look at the situation.
“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,” Mr. Abbott said Friday. “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.”
Murad Awawdeh, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, called Mr. Abbott a “cold-hearted publicity-seeking bigot.”
“This crisis is self-manufactured and puts vulnerable immigrant families in the crossfire,” he said, urging New York officials to stay the course.
Mr. Adams complained earlier this summer that his city was being overwhelmed by several thousand homeless migrants. He pinned blame on both the federal government and on Mr. Abbott‘s busing strategy, and the Democratic mayor begged the Biden administration for financial help.
Mr. Adams has labeled the migrants “asylum seekers” and says they are entitled to services.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser also has asked for federal help, including permission to activate the city’s National Guard.
Mr. Abbott began busing migrants to the nation’s capital in April.
The migrants in question were caught jumping the border by the Department of Homeland Security, which processed and then released them into Texas communities.
Texas says it isn’t forcing anyone onto the buses, but rather offering the ride.
That suggests the migrants were likely to end up on the East Coast anyway, and Mr. Abbott‘s buses merely get them there faster — and at state taxpayers’ expense.
Initially, the Biden administration mocked the busing strategy, pointing out that the migrants were all volunteering to come east. But later the administration settled on a new message, complaining that Texas was disrupting Homeland Security’s ability to manage and track the migrants.
The border surge has shattered previous records, with border and Census Bureau data suggesting well more than 1 million immigrants without documentation have settled in the U.S. since the start of the Biden administration.