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MANHATTAN, N.Y. (PIX11) – Migrants seeking asylum are being bused to the Port Authority Terminal in Manhattan from Texas. However, leaders in New York are worried about what they go through before they reach New York City.

Manuel Castro, the commissioner for immigrant affairs, claimed that the people seeking refuge are made to wear barcode bracelets, which are then cut before they get off the buses.

“We did catch in the video that they were scanning and cutting these bracelets. Of course, they’re doing this covertly. They’re trying to hide how they’re treating people on the bus,” Castro said, suggesting the bracelets are a political ploy by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to intimidate and dehumanize the Asylum seekers.

The nonprofit Masbia Soup Kitchen, run by Alexander Rapaport, provides shoes and clothing to these immigrants from Texas. Rapaport and other volunteers agreed that men, women, and children deserve respect and safety no matter where they land.

“These are people who seek asylum in America, supposed to be accepted here with dignity, not treated like cattle,” said Rapaport.

Abbott’s office urged Mayor Eric Adams and his administration to stop its “baseless lies and fearmongering,” and said that the bracelets help ensure they only transport migrants who have been processed and released with federal documentation. 

The New York Immigration Coalition and its allies held a rally Friday on the steps of City Hall to call for increased efforts by the federal, state, and local governments to provide the services and support that asylum-seekers being transported to New York City need.