Texas Governor Sends Immigrants to New York City, Accelerating Immigration Deadlock

NEW YORK, Aug 5 (Reuters) – Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, said on Friday that he has begun sending buses of migrants to New York City in an effort to push Democratic mayors and President Joe Biden to take responsibility for those who cross the border. A democrat.

The first bus arrived early Friday morning at the city’s Port Authority bus terminal in midtown Manhattan, carrying about 50 migrants from Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras and Venezuela. Volunteers helped guide people who had no relatives in town to city resources.

“Most of them don’t have anyone to help. They don’t know where to go, so we take them to shelters,” said Evelyn Zapata, a volunteer at the bus station and from the group Grannies Respond.

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A family of four from Columbia stayed at a homeless intake center in the Bronx, unsure of where they would spend the night. Byrne and Leidy, both 28, said they fled the country’s capital Bogotá because they were having trouble finding work. They did not provide their last name.

“It’s a bit easier to get into the country now, it used to be very difficult to come here with children,” said Leidy, who traveled with her children Mariana, 7, and Nicholas, 13. He said the family believed someone they knew. New York would take them, but that plan didn’t work out. “We’re here because we want to help them find a place to stay off the street,” Leidy said.

Abbott, who is running for a third term as governor in the November elections, has already sent more than 6,000 immigrants to Washington since April in a broader effort to fight illegal immigration and call for more of Biden’s more welcoming policies. read more

Biden took office in January 2021, promising to reverse many of the tough immigration policies of former President Donald Trump, the Republican front-runner, but some efforts have been blocked in court.

Abbott said New York City Mayor Eric Adams could provide services and housing for newcomers.

“I hope he will follow through on his promise to welcome all immigrants with open arms, bringing relief to our border towns,” Abbott said in a statement.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, another Republican, followed Abbott’s lead and took another 1,000 to Washington.

US border officials have made a record number of arrests under Biden, though many are repeat crossers. Some immigrants who cannot be quickly deported to Mexico or their home countries under the Covid-era policy are allowed into the United States, often to seek asylum in a U.S. immigration court.

‘Political Disadvantages’

Adams’ office has criticized the busing efforts to Washington in recent weeks, saying some immigrants are heading to New York City and overwhelming its homeless shelter system.

Fabian Levy, the mayor’s spokesman, on Friday said Abbott was using “people as political pawns,” calling it “a disgusting and embarrassing stain on the state of Texas.”

Levy called for support from federal officials, who “always welcome asylum seekers with open arms, but we’re asking for resources to help do so.”

White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre on Friday called the Texas initiative “shameful” and an unnecessary burden on taxpayers in that state.

Costs for the effort were $1.6 million in April and May, and a local NBC News affiliate in June reported $1,400 more per ride.

Texas officials declined to provide the cost when asked by Reuters.

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser has said her city’s shelter system is struggling with the influx of immigrants and last month called on the Biden administration to send in military troops to help receive migrants, a move that has frustrated White House officials. read more

A U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin rejected a request for the D.C. National Guard to help transport and welcome immigrants into the city because it would affect troop readiness.

Bowser on Friday suggested submitting a more targeted troop request, reiterating his position that the federal government must deal with what he called a “growing humanitarian crisis.”

“If the federal government is not going to do it, they should at least get out of our way and give us the resources we need,” he told reporters.

Many migrants arrive after long and difficult journeys through South America.

Jose Gregorio Fororo, a Venezuelan immigrant, said he crossed eight countries before traveling by bus from Texas for more than a day. “It’s been 31 days here, walking and riding,” he said, adding that it’s nice to be in New York, where he thought there would be job opportunities.

New York City, “So beautiful. I love it.”

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Reporting by Sophia Ahmed in New York and Ted Hessen in Washington; Additional reporting by Idris Ali and Jeff Mason in Washington, Rochelle Chen and Dan Faustenberg in New York; Editing by Micah Rosenberg and Daniel Wallis

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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