Bus of asylum seekers arrives at Port Authority in NYC, another expected to follow

Janice Yu Image
Wednesday, May 3, 2023
Bus of asylum seekers arrives at Port Authority in NYC
One bus of asylum seekers arrived in New York City with another expected to follow Wednesday.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Two buses of asylum seekers arrived in New York City with another expected to follow Wednesday.

The first bus arrived at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan around 7 a.m. with 41 people aboard.

Manuel Castro, Commissioner of the NYC Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs, welcomed those aboard the bus to New York City.

"Asylum seekers will be processed, and assessed for their most immediate needs, especially children. They've been on a three-day journey, most of them with very little water and food. That is one of our main concerns. The state of Texas, Governor Abbott, does not coordinate with us. so we do not know who is on these buses or what conditions they are in. After they've been assessed, they will be transported on MTA buses from here to our shelter intake, where we will assess their emergency shelter needs. Many of them will be placed in hotels because most of them are families with small children, which we prioritize for hotels. And then we will assess which services children need. Often they need some immediate assessment to determine where they can be placed in our school system," Castro said.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul said the new influx of buses from Texas only adds to "a crisis situation."

"I don't have the ability to stop the influx of individuals, it's getting untenable. It's really been a real challenge. It calls for a federal solution. Absolutely calls for a federal solution," she said.

Governor Hochul reiterated asylum seekers shouldn't have to wait 180 days to get work papers, "to go apply for one of our jobs at our hotels or restaurants or the countless jobs that are going unfilled. It's frustrating that it takes so long."

On Tuesday, Governor Abbott's Press Secretary Andrew Mahaleris said that the migrants are choosing to go to New York, not being forced.

"Mayor Adams is once again spreading falsehoods and outright lies. He knows full well these migrants willingly chose to go to New York City since his staff saw firsthand on their secret trip to Texas last year as migrants raised their hands to go on buses to his sanctuary city. Migrants also sign a voluntary consent waiver available in multiple languages upon boarding that they agree on the destination. And they were processed and released by the federal government, which dumped them in small Texas border towns. Mayor Adams, along with Mayor Bowser, Mayor Lightfoot, and Mayor Kenney, was proud to tout their self-declared sanctuary city status until Texas began busing migrants to New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Philadelphia to provide relief to our overrun and overwhelmed border communities," Mahaleris said.

He went on to say that New York is only "dealing with a fraction" of what Texas' small border communities deal with on a day-to-day basis.

New York City officials say more than 53,000 migrants have entered the city's shelter system over the last year, many of them arriving at the Port Authority.

Right now, there are about 200 asylum seekers arriving in the city daily but that number to grow once Title 42 is lifted on May 11; that's the COVID era public health policy that quickly expelled migrants.

On Tuesday, the Biden administration announced they will send 1,500 troops to the U.S.-Mexico border ahead of an expected migrant surge following the end of coronavirus pandemic-era restrictions.

The city anticipates it will spend $4.3 billion through the end of fiscal year 2024 on services for asylum seekers.

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