In an effort to shift the burden for border crossers to Democratic mayors and US President Joe Biden, a Democrat, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (a Republican) said he has begun sending buses transporting migrants to New York City.
On Friday morning, the first bus carrying about 50 immigrants from Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras, and Venezuela pulled into New York City’s Port Authority Bus Terminal. City services were being offered to people who had no relatives in town.
Abbott has been critical of Biden’s handling of the immigration crisis at the US-Mexico border, and has refused to accept any more migrants in Texas.
“The White House’s irresponsible policies are causing a humanitarian crisis at our Southern Border — and they’re now transporting that crisis straight to the streets of New York City,” Abbott said in a statement.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio condemned the move, calling it “reckless” and “dangerous.”
“This is a cynical political stunt that does nothing to solve the humanitarian crisis at our border,” de Blasio said in a statement. “The federal government should be working with cities to get people out of overcrowded Border Patrol facilities, not dumping them into our communities without notice or resources.”
The standoff between Abbott and Biden is the latest development in the ongoing immigration crisis at the US-Mexico border. In recent weeks, there has been a surge in the number of migrants, many of them families with children, trying to cross into the US.
Biden has come under fire from Republicans for his handling of the situation, with some accusing him of reversing Trump-era policies that they say were effective in deterring illegal immigration.
The president has said he is working to address the root causes of migration, such as poverty and violence in Central America, and has called on Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill.
In the meantime, the administration is working to expand its capacity to process and care for migrants, including children, who are crossing the border.
The Department of Homeland Security has said that it is not able to immediately send people back to their home countries amid the pandemic and that it is working on a “safe and orderly” process for doing so.
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