More migrants arrive by bus in NJ, take transit into NYC to avoid Mayor Adams' executive order

Janice Yu Image
Tuesday, January 2, 2024
More migrants arrive by bus in NJ, take transit into NYC
Anthony Carlo has more on the migrant crisis from Port Authority.

MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- At least 13 buses have dropped off migrants in New Jersey and then they are boarding buses and trains to New York City.

The buses from Texas and Louisiana have arrived at several train stations in Secaucus, Fanwood, Edison, and Trenton.

This is being done apparently to avoid Mayor Eric Adams' new executive order that limits when buses can arrive at the Port Authority.

Some 450 migrants have been dropped off recently.

Michael Gonnelli, Mayor of Secaucus, said in a statement perhaps the boundaries put in place by New York City are too stringent and causing unintended consequences.

The Mayor of Edison, Sam Joshi, says he'll take steps to keep the migrants out of Edison. He's instructed law enforcement to charter a bus to transport them back to the US-Mexico border.

"The solution for me as the mayor of Edison is not to pawn it off to another mayor," Joshi said.

"At the end of the day they're desperate people who need help and we want to do the right thing and be helpful," said Steve Fulop, Jersey City mayor.

Governor Phil Murphy released a statement that said, "New Jersey is primarily being used as a transit point for these families - all or nearly all of them continued with their travels en route to their final destination of New York City. We are closely coordinating with our federal and local partners on this matter, including our colleagues across the Hudson."

Mayor Adams says he's encouraged other cities and counties to pass similar executive orders. He vowed on Tuesday to change his approach in response to Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

"We are dealing with a person who just wants to disrupt. This is not a person who wants to raising the attention to an issue. This is a mean-spirited way to using people and disrupting municipalities, not only in this region, but other parts of the entire country. We are going to pivot and shift and be prepared to send the right message to these bus operators. You should not participate in the actions of Governor Abbott," Adams said.

Both the mayor and City Hall Chief Counsel Lisa Zornberg emphasized that the goal of the executive orders is not to cause other municipalities to follow suit or to punish migrants, but to hold Abbott accountable.

However, Zornberg said "not one bus" sent from Texas has complied to the executive order and accused him of trying to "evade" it by sending migrants to New Jersey.

"Since we issued that executive order, not one bus from Texas has complied, not one. The strategy, which we believe is being directed by the state of Texas is purposely to try to evade the executive order and now what you're seeing is the same buses from Texas paid for by the state of Texas that were previously dropping off at Port Authority, are now dropping off at train stations in New Jersey at Trenton at Secaucus....other places in Jersey and.... reportedly providing tickets one way tickets from those train stations to come into Penn Station," Zornberg said.

As New York City and Texas continue to bicker, the need for a referee -- the federal government -- becomes more and more apparent.

"Look, we've been in touch with mayors and governors in the northern part of the country to talk, to give them and provide resources that they may need to deal with the influx," said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

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