A bus carrying about 50 migrants sent to New York City by Texas Governor Greg Abbott arrived early Friday as the Lone Star state Republican continued his war with the White House over his open borders policies.
The immigrants pulled up on a chartered bus at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown around 6:30 a.m., with a press release from Abbott cruelly declaring that New York was now “a drop off place” for immigrants. people crossing the border into Texas.
Alfonso Ruiz is one of 25 men who arrived from Texas on a military bus around 6 a.m.
“The bus ride was tough. It was 36 hours from Texas,” said Ruiz, 40. “It took about two days. Stopping and screaming and stopping almost all day.”
But that was nothing compared to the two months he spent walking from Venezuela to the US border.
“I’m tired,” Ruiz said. “We all have swollen feet.”
Governor Abbott, before the bus arrived in Manhattan on Friday, had already sent thousands of migrants to Washington, DC, in the escalation of the political battle in which Mayor Adams quickly denounced Abbott for bragging on the backs of new arrivals.
“This is despicable of what we are witnessing in Texas,” Adams said later at Gracie Mansion. “The Governor of Texas, using human beings as a political game, finally admitted what we were saying. We will continue with open arms. This is who we are as a city.”
Adams planned to speak later Friday with federal officials about additional funding to offer support to new arrivals. A mayoral spokesman earlier denounced the Abbott bus stunt as “a shameful stain on the state of Texas,” while dismissing the governor as an “inept politician,” later adding that the city had no prior news of the incoming immigrant. .
The Texas governor’s press office said all of the migrants involved had volunteered for the trip and each had documentation from the Department of Homeland Security. The office did not respond to a question about the total costs of the trip.
The arrival of the bus, after a 1,750-mile journey east, marked an escalation in the ongoing feud between governor and mayor about the topic. None of the new arrivals remained when reporters arrived at the busy terminal two hours later, with Fox News the only media outlet present as the bus pulled up.
“Due to President Biden’s continued refusal to acknowledge the crisis caused by his open border policies, the state of Texas has had to take unprecedented steps to keep our communities safe,” Abbott said in a statement.
In a subsequent tweet, the governor described New York as “the ideal destination for these migrants. They can receive the services that Mayor Adams boasts about (within) the sanctuary city.”
“Governor Abbott is brazenly exploiting these migrants, human beings who have endured immense suffering in their home countries and on the journey to the United States, in search of a safe haven and a better life, to fulfill some short-sighted purpose.” , the Legal Aid Society and the Coalition for the Homeless said in a joint statement.
Murad Awawdeh, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, called Abbott “a ruthless publicity-seeking fanatic.”
Approximately two dozen of the newly arrived men were herded from the men’s shelter on E. 30th St. in the afternoon to board a yellow school bus bound for an undisclosed location.
New York, as a “right to housing” state, is required by law to provide same day accommodation for any adult who arrives at 10 p.m. with children at a homeless shelter.
Leidy, 28, made the 5-day trip from Bogotá, Colombia with her children, Ariana, 7, and Nicholas, 13, due to the political climate in her home country.
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With the cost of living through the roof and no job opportunities, he came here looking for work at what he says is the right time.
“It’s a little easier to get in,” Leidy explained. “A little easier being here. Because before it was very, very difficult and more so with the children… [But now] with the children, if you come with them, it is easier.”
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, whose city has already welcomed more than 6,000 immigrants bused in from Texas, accused Abbott of “a cruel political game … (using) desperate people to score political points.”
Adams earlier this week turned down an invitation from Abbott to visit Texas as the standoff between the New York Democrat and the Texas governor continued.
People like Ruiz, now in a strange city with only the clothes on their backs, are real-life pawns in this political game of hot potato.
“It’s unbelievable, but true. The Governor of Texas does not want immigrants in Texas. We got on the bus because they told us that from here they would help us get to the state we are trying to get to, and that they would help us get there cheaper,” said Ruiz, who is headed to Atlanta, Georgia. “They dumped us here. They left. We got here, they left us here. Now we have to figure out what to do.”
With Molly Crane-Newman