A bus full of about 50 migrants sent to New York by Texas Governor Greg Abbott arrived early Friday as the Lone Star State Republican continued his war with the White House over its policy of opening of the borders.
The migrants pulled up on a chartered bus at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown around 6.30am, with a press release from Abbott harshly declaring that New York was now ‘a drop-off point’ for people crossing the border to Texas.
Alfonso Ruiz is one of about 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,” Ruiz, 40, said. “It took about two days. Stopping and screaming and stopping most of the day.
But that was nothing compared to the two months he spent walking to the US border from Venezuela.
“I’m tired,” Ruiz said. “We all have swollen feet.”
Governor Abbott, before the Friday bus arrived in Manhattan, had already sent thousands of migrants to Washington, D.C., in an escalating political battle where Mayor Adams quickly denounced Abbott for his grandstanding on the backs of new arrivals.
“It’s despicable what we’re seeing in Texas,” Adams later said at Gracie Mansion. “The Governor of Texas – using human beings as a political game – finally admitted what we were saying. We will continue to be with open arms. This is who we are as a city.
Adams planned to speak later Friday with federal officials about additional funding to provide support for newcomers. A spokesperson for the mayor previously denounced Abbott’s bus stunt as ‘an embarrassing stain on the state of Texas’ while calling the governor an ‘incompetent politician’, later adding that the city had no information. prerequisite on the incoming immigrant.
The Texas governor’s press office said the migrants involved all volunteered for the trip, and each showed documents from the Department of Homeland Security. The office did not respond to a question about the total cost of the trip.
The arrival of the bus, after a 1,750 mile eastward journey, marked an escalation in the tussle in progress between the governor and the mayor On the question. None of the new arrivals remained when reporters arrived at the busy terminal two hours later, with Fox News the only news outlet present when the bus arrived.
“Due to President Biden’s continued refusal to acknowledge the crisis caused by his open border policy, the State of Texas has had to take unprecedented action to keep our communities safe,” a statement from Abbott read. .
In a subsequent tweet, the governor described New York as “the perfect destination for these migrants. They can receive the services Mayor Adams boasted of (in) the Sanctuary City.
“Governor Abbott is shamelessly 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 serve a myopic purpose,” the Legal Aid Society and the Homelessness Coalition said in a joint statement.
Murad Awawdeh, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, called Abbott a “cold-hearted bigot in search of publicity.”
About two dozen newly arrived men were driven from the E. 30th Street men’s shelter in the afternoon to board a yellow school bus for an undisclosed location.
New York, as a “right to home” 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 Bogota, Colombia with her children, Ariana, 7, and Nicholas, 13, due to the political climate in their home country.
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With the skyrocketing cost of living and no job opportunities, she came here looking for a job at the right time.
“It’s a little easier to get in,” Leidy explained. “A little easier to be here. Because before, it was very, very difficult and even more so with children… [But now] with children, if you come with them, it’s easier.
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, whose city has already welcomed more than 6,000 immigrants bused in from Texas, accused Abbott of “cruel political manipulation … (using) desperate people to score political points.”
Adams earlier this week declined an Abbott invitation to visit Texas as the fight between the Democrat of New York and the Governor of Texas continued.
People like Ruiz, now in a strange town with only the clothes on their backs, are real pawns in this hot potato political game.
“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 they would help us get there more economically said Ruiz, who is bound for Atlanta, Georgia. “We were thrown here. They left. We arrived here, they left us here. Now you have to know what to do. »
With Molly Crane Newman