Port Authority Bus Terminal Sees More Texas Asylum Seekers Arrive Today – NBC New York

What to Know

  • New York City says its shelter system is buckling under an influx of asylum-seeking migrants being sent from border states, though critics say the shelter system’s problems are more complex
  • After a war of words between Texas and NYC officials, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said August 5 his state of him would start bussing asylum seekers here directly; the first bus arrived that morning. More have arrived since
  • New York City’s right-to-shelter laws obligate the city to care for the migrants – even though many are being sent to the city with erroneous paperwork that sends them to the wrong locations

Two of what were expected to be at least three buses carrying more than 100 asylum seekers from Texas arrived at the Port Authority Bus Terminal Wednesday, further pressing the city’s social safety net amid an escalating battle between New York City and Texas over the crisis.

The buses, one white, one black, pulled into the bus terminal around 7:45 am near 41st Street and Eighth Avenue, the same location where a bus arrived from Texas Sunday with asylum seekers Mayor Eric Adams claims Texas Gov. Greg Abbott never told New York City were coming.

New York City officials say Texas didn’t coordinate the arrivals Wednesday either, but this time, New York City was prepared to offer medical evaluations and other services upon arrival, NYC Immigration Affairs Commissioner Manuel Castro said. It wasn’t immediately clear how many asylum seekers were on the first two buses or whether another was still expected to arrive.

The developments come amid an ongoing battle between Adams, a Democrat, and Abbott, a Republican, that has played out publicly since July 19, when the mayor first accused the governor of dumping migrants in the city.

Abbott denied it at the time but reversed course on Friday and said Texas would now bus asylum seekers straight here. “This is horrific when you think about what the governor is doing, the governor of Texas,” Adams said in a news conference at the Port Authority Bus Terminal that coincided with the arrival of another bus from the border state. The mayor said some of the families on the bus did not intend to come to New York and were effectively misled into getting on buses to the city.

“We’re finding that some of the families are on the bus that wanted to go to other locations and they were not allowed to do so. They were forced on the bus with the understanding that they were going to other locations that they wanted to go to, and when they tried to explain they were not allowed to do so,” the mayor said.

He is now requesting federal assistance with the influence. Officials say Texas provided no information about Wednesday’s buses.

Adams also criticized Texas for failing to provide any coordinating information to New York City, like when the buses were coming, how many people were on them or where they intended to go. The mayor said the city has heard rumors that some people are getting off the buses early and potentially taking it on themselves to find their way around NYC.

On Sunday, about 14 people were on the bus that came in, less than half of what the city was expecting.

Because New York City has right-to-shelter laws, the city has an obligation to care for those migrants, no matter how they arrive or in what numbers. While critics say the shelter system is struggling for complex reasons that go far beyond the migrant situation, the mayor nonetheless has zeroed in on this issue and repeatedly called for more federal assistance.

On Sunday, taxis lined up near the Port Authority Bus Terminal bearing signs that said “Solidarity Forever,” waiting to give migrants coming off that bus from Texas free rides to shelters and elsewhere. One cab driver said their union received a request from the city asking them to help out.

“We are all immigrants,” cab driver Mohammad Haque said. “We are all, we come from different countries, different backgrounds. This New York City is open for everyone.”

Yet while the shelter system struggles to handle the new arrivals, part of the problem is also where those new arrivals are going in the first place. As News 4 has reported in recent days, perhaps hundreds of people came to New York City in recent weeks with paperwork bearing erroneous or outright bogus addresses and phone numbers, directing them to shelter that didn’t exist and leaving them wandering the streets.

Federal authorities insist the migrants are themselves providing those bad addresses; aid groups adamantly deny that and say it’s federal agents and officers giving people that misdirection.

In at least one case now under investigation by federal officials, an asylum seeker was sent to New York City with paperwork that bore a fake address, and the officer signed the papers with what appeared to be a hand-drawn emoji of a face sticking its tongue out.

Gary Jenkins, New York City’s commissioner of social services, said on July 28 that his department was not aware migrants were coming to the city with erroneous paperwork in such numbers until News 4 asked him about it.

In the meantime, the city’s daily shelter census is lately running over 50,000 people a day, which is about 10% higher than it typically was in the early part of the year.

Adams said those from Sunday morning’s bus who want to stay in NYC are being taken to appropriate shelter intakes, while those who want to go elsewhere are getting help from aid groups to try and make their way there.

Leave a Comment