Texas Governor visits city where he’s been busing migrants

September 28, 2023

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Wednesday visited New York City, one of the cities to which he’s been busing migrants after they cross the Mexican border into his state.

During a breakfast held at the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank, Abbott agreed with local New York authorities that the situation was “unsustainable,” but insisted that the “lead importer of migrants to New York is not Texas, it’s Joe Biden.”

Abbott ramped up the busing of migrants to other cities last year as part of his Operation Lone Star initiative, a series of border security measures announced in 2021.

To date, Texas officials have bused about 42,000 migrants elsewhere, including 15,800 to New York City, though according to New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) altogether the city has absorbed more than 120,000 migrants and the number continues to grow.

Officials in other cities have declared the migrant situation an “urgent humanitarian crisis.” Pleading for more aid, San Diego officials noted in a statement this month, “Migrants are being released across the county with little direction and few resources.”

In December, Abbott’s office went on the defensive against criticism over the busing of  dozens of migrants to Vice President Harris’ residence in Washington DC amid record cold temperatures. A spokesperson for Abbott in that case also pointed fingers at the Biden Administration.

Last month, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) urged the Biden Administration to increase federal aid to cope with a surge of migrants arriving in her state. Among her requests, she asked that work authorization be expedited allow the migrants “the ability to work to support themselves and their families.”

She added that creating a federal work designation for migrants—who have struggled to find work, and when they do, they are often exploited with wage theft as well as seamy and sometimes dangerous work conditions—would also help solve a worker shortage in New York State.

In apparent response, this past week the Biden Administration made hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans who’ve arrived int the U.S. eligible for work permits.

Last week, noting the expedited work permits, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre repeated accusations that Abbott is turning the border crisis “into a political stunt.”

She further noted that the White House has given New York City $140 million in aid, though city officials have asked for more.

On Wednesday, the International Organization for Migration appealed to Mexico and Central America to help address the “unprecedented numbers of vulnerable migrants transit through the region,” adding that long-term solutions are needed to “tackle the drivers of migration.”

PHOTO: Migrant asylum seekers outside New York City’s Roosevelt Hotel in June

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