Buses carrying migrants from Texas to New York at the direction of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has set off a firestorm of condemnation from Democratic leaders. To the Republican governor of the Lone Star state, the Northeast Democrats should call on President Biden to secure the border and remedy the immigration crisis.
"This is horrific when you think about what the governor is doing," New York City Mayor Eric Adams said Sunday, when he met migrants getting off a bus from Texas.
It was the second bus of migrants to reach New York since Friday, and Adams slammed Abbott for the move, arguing some of the migrants on the bus wanted to go to destinations other than New York but were not allowed.
Conservative leaders in red states along the border had threatened sending some of the record number of migrants that have come to the U.S. since Biden took office to liberal cities located far from the border.
"President Biden and his administration have willingly surrendered the United States’ southern border to dangerous criminal cartels, with no thought given to the South Texas border communities like McAllen and Del Rio, which are running low on resources from dealing with this massive influx of illegal immigrants," Sen. Ted Cruz said last year while introducing a bill that would relocate migrants from South Texas to ports of entry in liberal cities such as Palo Alto, Calif., and vacation hot spots like Martha’s Vineyard.
In April of 2022, Abbott took action and sent the first bus of migrants from Texas to Washington, D.C. This month, two buses of migrants from Texas reached New York City and more are headed to D.C.
Abbott’s office hit back at Adams’ comment that it was "horrific" the governor was sending buses of migrants up to New York, telling him to take the matter up with the president and call for strengthened border policies.
"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," Abbott press secretary Renae Eze told Fox News Digital on Monday.
"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," she added.
The office also hit back at the argument from New York Democrats that some of the migrants bused to New York wanted to go to other areas in the country, but were forced to travel to the Big Apple.
"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," Eze said.
New York Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Adriano Espaillat have also sounded off on the matter, writing a letter to Department of Homeland Security chief Alejandro Mayorkas decrying reports that some migrants who have reached New York are showing up with bogus paperwork.
The New York Democrats told Mayorkas that migrants are "dealt official Department of Homeland Security documentation" with destination addresses where they could not receive shelter, and called on the DHS chief to ensure migrants are given the proper documentation. They said the lack of proper paperwork risks migrants missing asylum appointments due, as other important documents would be mailed to the wrong addresses, NBC New York reported.
"With recent news of Texas’ Governor bussing additional asylum seekers to New York City, we are concerned that if this matter is not dealt with in a timely manner, thousands of migrants will continue to be misled and denied resources they are legally owed such as access to food and shelter," they wrote in the letter.
In one case currently under investigation, an immigration officer reportedly gave a migrant paperwork with a fake address and phone number, and signed it with what NBC New York reported was a hand-drawn emoji with its tongue sticking out. ICE said in a statement to NBC New York that it "takes allegations of inappropriate behavior very seriously" and that "any allegations of inappropriate behavior is appropriately investigated."
An Adams’ office official told Fox News Digital that "Texas is intentionally disrupting federal proceedings as people were forcibly bussed to NYC even though they had their official immigration documentation to other cities and states." The disruptions increase the chances of migrants missing important immigration meetings and hearings, the official added.
The New York City Council held a special session on Tuesday regarding the buses and how the city can cope with the influx of migrants. The meeting was highlighted with condemnation for Abbott and how the New York City shelter system is already strained, sitting at a 1% vacancy rate.
"What is new now, is the systematic diversion of asylum seekers and immigrants to New York City by external forces, including by the disgusting, cruel and cowardly actions of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott," Immigration Commissioner Manuel Castro told the city council during the hearing.
When asked by "Fox & Friends Weekend" on Sunday what "statement" Texas is sending to New York by busing migrants to the blue-voter stronghold, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said it was a message of "fairness."
"Part of it is that we have a significant problem on the border. They're [NYC] only experiencing a slight bit of this. I mean, it's almost a little inconvenience for them, but it's a major problem for us. And so it's just interesting to see some of these mayors who have invited and have created sanctuary cities to suddenly start complaining that they've got a few thousand immigrants when we're dealing with millions," Paxton said.
The Center for Immigration Studies published a report in June finding the "foreign-born population" in the U.S. had increased by more than 2 million since Biden took office. In May alone, the number of migrant encounters at the southern border hit a new record at 239,416 encounters.
A CBP source told Fox News in June that there have been 440,000 known instances of illegal immigrants getting past border agents since the fiscal year began in October, which means there have been more than 800,000 gotaway instances since October 2020 to May of this year.
Conservatives leaders in border states and across the country have slammed the president for his immigration policies, including ending the Trump administration’s "Remain in Mexico" policy, announcing an ultimately-failed plan to offer citizenship to 11 million illegal immigrants at the start of his presidential tenure, loosening border enforcement policies, among other issues.
"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," Abbott’s press secretary told Fox News Digital. "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 White House did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment. Adams said Monday that he has a call set up with the White House to discuss federal assistance.
Abbott’s office said last week that more than 6,100 migrants have so far been bused to Washington, D.C. Dozens of migrants have so far reached New York City.