9 buses of migrants arrive in New York City, most in one day since asylum seekers started to arrive

Adams says things wouldn't be this dire had the city been given the chance to coordinate and communicate with the Texas governor.

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, September 20, 2022
9 buses of migrants arrive in NYC, most in one day
Mayor Adams has said the city's shelter system is at its breaking point, with at least 11,000 migrants arriving since the summer.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- A total of nine buses of migrants arrived Monday, the most in one day since southern states began sending them to New York City and the surrounding area.

At least 9,500 migrants are in the city's shelter system right now and the city has already opened 23 emergency shelters.

Mayor Eric Adams is calling for better coordination from southern state governors who continue to send people across the country to other states without warning or communication.

"We are not telling anyone that New York can accommodate every migrant in a city," Adams said. "We are saying that as a sanctuary city, right to shelter, we are going to fulfill our obligation. And when we reached out to Governor Abbott, and stated, can we coordinate? They refused to do so."

One woman spoke with Eyewitness News as she got off a bus arriving from El Paso at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, describing her journey as difficult and dangerous.

She made it to El Paso and became one of more than 1,000 migrants there to be bused to New York City, though she said grown children are still in Texas.

El Paso is now hiring its own charter buses for these journeys, and as someone who worked in El Paso, Eyewitness News reporter Janice Yu said she has covered immigration for years. But what is happening now is something she has not seen before.

Adams has said the city's shelter system is at its breaking point, with at least 13,000 migrants arriving since the summer.

El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser said that in the past, the majority of migrants who came to the U.S. had a sponsor -- a family member or friend already in the U.S. who could help with things like transportation.

But that is not the case right now, so he said El Paso is sending asylum seekers to cities where they want to go -- and many of them have said New York.

Adams says New York City will continue to be a sanctuary city, but he wants migrants to come willingly and in a humane manner.

"We want to continue what we've always done, and that ensures that people who came to this city were treated in a humane fashion," Adams said. "We're not seeing that now. This humanitarian crisis was created by human hands, and I believe it was a political ploy."

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said she has a call with the White House Wednesday and will discuss avenues for getting asylum seekers into the workforce faster so that they can start establishing a solid foundation for their families.

"I've already spoken to secretary Mayorkas multiple times about our shared interests in getting federal assistance for this crisis, to help all of us," Hochul said. "But also to address the work issue and how soon people can be able to have the legal ability to work at the time, while they are awaiting legal disposition of their cases."

Adams also expressed the need for federal assistance to help asylum seekers find housing and jobs.

ALSO READ | Tracing the steps of asylum seekers as they settle in New York City

Eyewitness News investigative reporter Kristin Thorne went to the Port Authority bus terminal recently to watch how newly-arrived asylum seekers were processed in New York City.


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