Mayor announces executive order for buses transporting migrants to NYC amid flight chaos

Janice Yu Image
Thursday, December 28, 2023
Mayor announces executive order for buses transporting migrants to NYC amid flight chaos
Josh Einiger has the details.

MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- New York City Mayor Eric Adams on Wednesday announced an executive order requiring charter bus companies carrying migrants to give a 32-hour notice before arriving in the city, following chaos Tuesday night sparked by Texas' governor.

They can now arrive only between 8:30 a.m. and noon, Monday through Friday, and only drop off passengers at one location unless otherwise directed by the city.

Failure to do so will result in a class B misdemeanor, possible fines, lawsuit and even buses impounded.

"We really are saying to bus operators and companies, do not participate in Governor Abbott's actions," Adams said. "We want them to take the appropriate actions of being responsible by taking those actions during the hours we are laying out. Those asylum seekers on the buses, they will not be penalized any way at all. This does not impact those passengers on the buses."

It comes in response to the chaos Tuesday night, sparked by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who took responsibility for booking an "unannounced and uncoordinated" flight carrying about 180 migrants from El Paso to Kennedy Airport before the flight was diverted to Philadelphia due to weather.

"We had a plane with over 180 migrants depart for NYC yesterday - it was re-rerouted due to weather/ground stoppage in NYC, and the migrants were bused the remaining way," a spokesperson for Gov. Abbott said.

After arriving in Philadelphia, the migrants were bused to the Port Authority around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday.

City officials believe this is the latest tactic by Abbott in an escalation of his strategy to export asylum seekers to major cities.

"Last night - in another inhumane act of treating human beings like political pawns - Texas attempted to send an unannounced and uncoordinated plane with migrants to New York City that was only diverted to Philadelphia due to extreme weather, but whose passengers were then transported here via bus," a spokesperson for Adams said.

"Last week, 14 rogue buses from the State of Texas arrived in a single night, the highest number recorded by the Arrival Center," the spokesperson added.

Adults, including couples, waited in a separate line outside the Port Authority to be taken elsewhere. Other adults were seen walking towards Eighth Avenue.

But New York City is not the only city that has been on the receiving end of unscheduled, uncoordinated arrivals.

Last week, Abbott's office acknowledged it flew more than 120 migrants to Chicago.

The mayors of Chicago and Denver addressed the crisis during a virtual press event Wednesday afternoon with Adams.

"Buses arriving not just in the city of Chicago but surrounding communities as well," Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson said. "Some neighborhoods as far reaching as an hour and a half outside the city of Chicago. Buses sent by the governor of Texas. Literally dropping families off in the middle of nowhere."

The latest arrival in New York City comes as the unrelenting flow of migrants continues to squeeze the city's resources.

The city says it's seeing close to 16,000 new asylum seekers, every month. Last week along, officials say more than 4,000 asylum seekers arrived in the city.

During a news conference about the matter on Tuesday, Adams once again assured that the city "needs more help."

"There's a high level of uncertainty as we continue to navigate these crises that we're facing. Governor Abbott has made it clear he wants to destabilize cities and send thousands of migrant and asylum seekers here to the city," he said. "I have to navigate this city out of it. The bottom line is I'm the mayor, and it's my obligation and responsibility to find the solutions, even if we're not getting the help that we deserve from Washington, D.C. and we need more help from our partners in Albany as well as they go into this legislative session."

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AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File


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