NEW YORK (PIX11) — At least five more buses full of migrants arrived Thursday in New York City, including many children and families.
The gut-wrenching scene of clearly tired and uncomfortable migrants and asylum seekers — and the costs both human and financial — are the backdrop for the political battles unfolding about what to do, and who to blame.
New York has welcomed at least 13,000 migrants so far and is still housing most in shelters and hotels.
Mayor Eric Adams, using pictures as examples, announced at least two emergency response and relief centers would open up in the coming days — including in Orchard Beach — to provide housing, food and other resources.
Local Republicans seized on the announcement and gathered on the steps of City Hall Thursday to encourage Gov. Kathy Hochul to ask President Joe Biden to declare a state of emergency which would unlock more federal funding.
“We clearly are in a state of emergency when we are directing tent cities to house people who showed up in the last weeks and months,” said Joe Borelli, GOP Minority Leader on the New York City Council.
“I think the border policy is a total failure, but I think it’s also reprehensible that New York City, other counties and New York State have to foot the bill on their own,” said Robert Ortt, State Senate Minority Leader.
However, just understanding the scale of what is happening continues to be a challenge with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott refusing to coordinate the busing.
“We do not know when they are arriving, how many will be on board, if there are children or people with special needs,” said Manuel Castro, New York City’s commissioner for Immigrant Affairs. “Abbott is doing everything he can to be disruptive and use asylum seekers as political pawns.”
PIX11 News asked the local GOP leaders gathered at City Hall if at a minimum they should be calling on their Republican colleagues in Texas and elsewhere to communicate more.
“I would love to see more coordination, but the coordination comes down to: there are more buses coming and more coming tomorrow and more next week as long as the pipeline across the southern extremities continues,” Borelli said. “We should prepare for other buses to come to New York and other cities in the Northeast.”
The issue of an emergency order did not come up Thursday during the publicly broadcast part of Hochul’s meeting with Biden to discuss hurricane relief in Puerto Rico.