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'This is horrific,' NYC mayor says of Gov. Abbott’s policy as second busload of migrants from Texas arrives

In an expansion of the governor’s plan to bus migrants from the Texas border to East Coast cities, 64 asylum-seekers arrived in New York City over the weekend.

AUSTIN, Texas — When a second busload of migrants arrived in New York City from the Texas border on Sunday, Mayor Eric Adams was there to greet them — and again slam Gov. Greg Abbott for the move.

“This is horrific, when you think about what the governor is doing,” Adams said at the Port Authority bus terminal, where 14 migrants were dropped off early Sunday morning, Politico reported.

Officials had expected 40 people to be on the bus, but Adams said some migrants appear to have gotten off at other stops along the route. Adams said some migrants were forced onto the bus, including families who wanted to go to locations other than New York, according to Politico.

Since April, Abbott has been sending newly arrived migrants to Democratic-leaning cities on the East Coast to put pressure on the Biden administration to secure the southwest border. More than 6,000 migrants have arrived in Washington, D.C., from Texas, prompting Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser to ask the U.S. Department of Defense to deploy the National Guard to help with the migrants. CNN reported Friday morning that the Pentagon has denied Bowser’s request.

On Friday, Abbott announced that buses would start going to New York City; 50 migrants arrived in the city on Friday.

“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 in a statement. “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."

Last week, Adams announced emergency measures to increase shelter capacity for asylum-seekers. New York’s shelter system receives more than 100 asylum-seekers who are looking for some form of housing each day, which has put a strain on the city’s shelter system.

“What Gov. Abbott is doing is cruel, misleading people,” Manuel Castro, commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs in New York, told Politico. “But we won’t fall for these scare tactics, and we are going to make sure asylum-seekers have the resources and support they need here in New York.”

Abbott, who is running for reelection, has been sparring with Democratic mayors over their immigration policies for months. The Republican governor said the busing of migrants will provide “much-needed relief to overwhelmed local communities along the border.” But critics of Abbott say he is using migrants as pawns in a cynical plot that does little to actually solve border problems.

The program is voluntary for migrants, and the state pays for the buses. Abbott’s office has said migrants transported to other cities have already been processed and released by the Department of Homeland Security.

Abbott also invited Adams and Bowser on Monday to visit the state’s southern border to “see the humanitarian crisis firsthand.” Adams’ office dismissed the invitation.

The Office of New York City Mayor Eric Adams did not respond to KHOU 11’s request for an interview.

The Office of Governor Greg Abbott declined KHOU 11’s request for an interview.

The governor’s press secretary, Renae Eze, sent the following statement:

“What’s horrific is the thousands of illegal immigrants overrunning and overwhelming our border communities with populations smaller than a New York City borough, and Mayor Adams is hypocritically upset about welcoming a few dozen into his sanctuary city. These migrants willingly chose to go to New York City, having signed a voluntary consent waiver, available in multiple languages, upon boarding that they agreed on the destination. If the mayor wants a solution to this crisis, he should call on President Biden to take immediate action to secure the border—something the President continues failing to do. The Biden Administration is allowing historic levels of illegal immigrants, weapons, and deadly drugs like fentanyl to surge into our state and dumping migrants in our border towns with little to no help provided. Texas continues stepping up to respond to this crisis by deploying Texas National Guard soldiers and DPS troopers, building our own border wall, busing migrants to sanctuary cities Washington, D.C. and New York City to provide relief to our local partners, and now sending illegal immigrants back to the border.”

The Texas Tribune is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them – about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

Disclosure: Politico has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism. Find a complete list of them here.

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