Texas Governor Greg Abbott (NYSE: ABT ), a Republican, said on Friday he has started sending buses loaded with migrants to New York City in an effort to hold Democratic mayors accountable. and to the president of the United States, Joe Biden, for the large volume of undocumented immigrants who cross the border.
The first bus arrived early Friday at the city’s Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan with 50 immigrants.
“Most of them don’t have anyone to help them. They don’t know where to go, so we take them to the shelters,” said a volunteer at the bus station, Evelin Zapata, of a group called Grannies Respond.
A family of four from Colombia, who ended up in a homeless shelter in the Bronx, did not know where they were going to spend the night. Byron and Leidy, both 28, said they left Bogotá because they were having trouble finding work. They did not provide their last name.
“Now it’s a little easier to enter the country, before it was very difficult to come with children,” said Leidy, who traveled with her children Mariana, 7, and Nicolás, 13. She said the family hoped that one day acquaintance in New York to take them in, but that plan didn’t work out.
Abbott, who is running for a third term as governor in the November election, has sent more than 6,000 immigrants to Washington state since April in a broader effort to crack down on illegal immigration and criticize Biden for his more welcoming policies.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, another Republican, has followed Abbott’s lead and bused another 1,000 to Washington.
U.S. border authorities have made a record number of arrests during the Biden administration, but many are migrants who cross repeatedly.
Some migrants who cannot be quickly removed to Mexico or their home countries under a COVID-era policy are able to enter the United States, often to file asylum claims in immigration court.
“Migrants can receive the abundance of city services and housing that Mayor Eric Adams has bragged about,” Abbott said in a statement.
“I hope he keeps his promise to welcome all migrants with open arms so that our overrun and overwhelmed border cities can find relief.”
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser also said her city’s shelter system has been affected by the arrival of immigrants and last month called on the Biden administration to deploy military troops to assist the undocumented, a request that embarrassed White House officials.