(Bloomberg) -- New York Mayor Eric Adams on Sunday greeted another bus of migrants who arrived on the East Coast sent by Texas, saying their treatment by the state’s governor has been “horrific.”
A first bus of about 50 migrants arrived on Friday, with Texas Governor Greg Abbott saying he was testing New York’s commitment to being a sanctuary city. Abbott also said more buses would be sent.
“I have to provide services for families that are here,” Adams said. “And that’s what we’re going to do. That’s our responsibility as a city.”
Adams met the asylum seekers, which included young children, at the city’s Port Authority Bus Terminal. Taxi drivers helped transport them to shelters.
Adams again slammed Abbott and said some who made the journey didn’t know where they were going.
“This is horrific when you think about what the governor is doing,” he said. “The governor of Texas, after a month of traveling across the border, placing [them] on the bus with no direction, to come here.”
“They were forced on the bus with the understanding that they were going to other locations,” Adams added.
Last week, Adams accused Abbott of using the migrants as “political pawns.” Abbott, who has made cracking down on undocumented immigration a prominent part of his re-election campaign, has also sent bus-loads of migrants to Washington, accusing President Joe Biden’s administration of allowing a surge in crossings at the southern US border.
Buses of migrants have long crisscrossed the US, traveling from border towns to destinations within the interior. But Abbott’s caravans are unique because they are part of a state-funded program to transport migrants across state lines to dropoff destinations unilaterally selected by state officials.
In Washington, the buses from Texas were filled with migrants who volunteered to take the trip.
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser asked the federal government to deploy National Guard troops for help with a “humanitarian crisis” for the capital. She said Friday that the Defense Department denied the request and she was considering resubmitting it.
Border security and migration are a political battleground as Republicans hammer the Biden administration ahead of midterm elections to do more to physically stop crossings of people seeking asylum.
There were about 207,000 “encounters,” or recorded crossings, at the border in June, just shy of 7,000 per day, according to US Customs and Border Protection data. That’s about 10% more than last June.
The White House has said a process exists to manage migrants at the border and that the federal government would support Adams and other local leaders through Federal Emergency Management Agency grant funding.
“It’s the latest stunt from the governor — another stunt of busing desperate migrants across the country and he’s using them as a political ploy. I mean, that’s what he’s been doing and it’s shameful,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Friday. “It’s costing the state of Texas $1.5 million.”
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