New York City Mayor Eric Adams said he was disappointed in criticism by the Legal Aid Society of how the city has dealt with thousands of migrants bussed from Texas, arguing that Gov. Greg Abbott is the "real villain" that they should be focused on.
More than 10,000 migrants have been bussed since April from Texas to New York City, which has a right-to-shelter law requiring the city to house anyone in need.
The Legal Aid Society said last week that the city failed to house 60 men, most of them migrants recently bussed to the city.
"We are extremely alarmed by the frequency of these violations under this Administration, and, as legally required, the City must immediately promulgate a plan to ensure that no further violations occur," the organization said in a statement. "Should the City continue to deprive our clients of this codified right, we’ll seek action from the court."
Mayor Adams defended his administration in an interview that aired Thursday at the Texas Tribune Festival, saying they should be focusing on Gov. Abbott's alleged misdeeds.
"We need help from the Legal Aid Society to put their legal minds with ours, and let's go after the real villain here, which is Governor Abbott, and not go after these city employees who have dedicated their lives to help people in need," Adams said.
Gov. Abbott, meanwhile, has argued that the bussing of migrants is bringing light to a migrant crisis that is disproportionately impacting border communities in his state.
"We have a president who has refused to go see the chaos that he's created on the border and a border czar, Kamala Harris, who's refused to say what's going on the border," Abbott previously told Fox News. "If they will not go to the border, we're taking the border to them, so they can see the challenges they're imposing to the entire United States of America."
Adams also clashed with the Legal Aid Society about emergency tent shelters that the mayor's office announced on Thursday to house migrants.
"We are deeply concerned with any scenario in which families with children would be relegated to congregate settings," the Legal Aid Society said.
Gov. Abbott previously invited Adams and other Democratic mayors to Texas to see the border themselves, but Adams said Thursday that Texas has failed to coordinate the bussing of migrants.
"Crises requires coordination. Governor Abbott did not coordinate at all. In fact, they first denied that they were sending migrants here," Adams said.