New York City Mayor Eric Adams is criticizing Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for sending busloads of migrants to the city, saying that Abbott “used innocent people as political pawns to manufacture a crisis.”
“Unlike Governor Abbott, New York City will always do our part,” Adams said via Twitter, after his office posted images of the mayor greeting migrants and refugees arriving at the Port Authority bus terminal in midtown Manhattan.
“This is horrific when you think about what [Abbot] is doing,” Adams said on Sunday, according to the Gothamist website, which reports that more than 4,000 immigrants had arrived from Texas so far.
Thousands of migrants have been transported so far
New York isn’t alone: Abbott’s office says Texas has already sent more than 6,100 migrants on buses to Washington, D.C., as NPR reported. Both cities are now the main targets in Abbott’s program to send people who recently crossed the U.S. southern border to locations on the East Coast.
Both Adams and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser are asking for federal aid to help their cities cope with the new flow of migrants, many of whom are being assisted by volunteers, non-profits and shelters in addition to city agencies.
Abbott and Republican leaders in nearby border states are seeking to blame Democrats for the country’s longstanding immigration crisis. On Friday, Abbott — who is in the midst of a reelection campaign — mocked Adams’ description of New York as a “sanctuary city,” calling it an “ideal destination for these migrants.”
Hardline policies comes in an election year for Abbott
Even before Adams spoke out, Abbott and his peers were accused of making political points off of the immigration crisis, with critics saying the politicians were risking the well-being of people seeking asylum.
Abbott has unveiled a string of headline-grabbing immigration policies this year, first as he faced two staunchly conservatives challengers in the GOP primary and now as he tries to shore up his lead over Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke ahead of the November vote.
Some of Abbott’s policies have opened up the governor to criticism within his own state: his April order imposing safety inspections on trucks crossing the border from Mexico created massive slowdowns and was later blamed for billions of dollars in U.S. trade losses.
The highly publicized border inspections by the Texas Department of Public Safety resulted in “zero apprehensions,” Texas Public Radio reported.