Governors weigh in on Mayor Adams' lawsuit against companies busing migrants to NYC

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Friday, January 5, 2024
Governors weigh in on lawsuit against companies busing migrants to NYC
Janice Yu reports on Adams' lawsuit against the charter bus companies transporting migrants to NYC from Secaucus.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The governors of New York, New Jersey, and Texas are responding to New York City Mayor Eric Adams' lawsuit against 17 charter bus and transportation companies bringing migrants to the city.

The city is seeking $708 million to cover the costs incurred over the last 20 months for providing emergency shelter and services to migrants transported by the charter bus companies.

"New York City has and will always do our part to manage this humanitarian crisis, but we cannot bear the costs of reckless political ploys from the state of Texas alone," said Adams in a statement released Thursday. "Today, we are taking legal action against 17 companies that have taken part in Texas Governor Abbott's scheme to transport tens of thousands of migrants to New York City in an attempt to overwhelm our social services system."

Thursday's suit sets out to recoup the hundreds of millions to cover the costs for any of those migrants still in New York City's care, and costs for all those who are transported to New York City from Texas in the future as part of Governor Abbott's plan.

"These companies have violated state law by not paying the cost of caring for these migrants, and that's why we are suing to recoup approximately $700 million already spent to care for migrants sent here in the last two years by Texas," Adams' statement continued. "Governor Abbott's continued use of migrants as political pawns is not only chaotic and inhumane but makes clear he puts politics over people. Today's lawsuit should serve as a warning to all those who break the law in this way."

The lawsuit argues the companies are on the hook for costs because they intentionally transported people in need of shelter with bad intentions.

The lawsuit also cites a report that Texas paid the bus companies on average $1,600 per migrant per trip, but an average one-way ticket usually costs less than $300.

Governor Kathy Hochul said she supports the lawsuit.

"These are human beings. They are being told by the governor, get on this plane, get on this bus. And you go to New York, and it's the promised land. Well, the truth is we've run out of space, we've talked about that for a long time. but they are still human beings. And now they are shuttled to New Jersey, and then realizing, wait I'm not in New York City, where I thought I was going. I'm not sure how I'm going to get there," Hochul said.

"Shame on congress and Washington for not having long ago come to that. And I'd say secondly, in the absence of that, let's cut the gimmicks out. With all due respect to the governors of Texas and others who I think are playing with people's lives, they should be ashamed of themselves," New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a statement following Adams' announcement, calling the lawsuit "baseless" and noting Adams "may be held legally accountable for his violations."

"This lawsuit is baseless and deserves to be sanctioned," the statement read. "Every migrant bused or flown to New York City did so voluntarily, after having been authorized by the Biden Administration to remain in the United States. As such, they have constitutional authority to travel across the country that Mayor Adams is interfering with. If the Mayor persists in this lawsuit, he may be held legally accountable for his violations."

This is the second move the city has made to target the bus companies.

Buses have been showing up to New Jersey transit stations to skirt a recent executive order put in place by Adams to restrict when buses can arrive in the city.

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