New York City Mayor Eric Adams said shelters are at the ‘breaking point’ after Texas has bused nearly 11,000 migrants to the ‘sanctuary city.’
In a statement on Wednesday, Adams expressed frustration over Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s busing policy that has inundated the Big Apple with thousands of migrants and left a group of 60 without access to a shelter on Monday.
‘In this new and unforeseen reality, where we expect thousands more to arrive every week going forward, the city’s system is nearing its breaking point,’ Adams said. ‘As a result, the city’s prior practices, which never contemplated the bussing of thousands of people into New York City, must be reassessed.
‘While some may want to use these extraordinary circumstances as an opportunity to play an unproductive game of gotcha, we remain focused on supporting each of these individuals and families who need our city’s help.’
Among the latest group of migrants who arrived in New York this month included 44 from El Paso, which has seen such an influx of immigrants that its shelters were forced to reject nearly 1,000 people, who were pictured sleeping on the city streets.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams said the city was nearing it’s breaking point amid an influx of 11,000 migrants being bussed over from Texas in protest of the country’s border policy
On Monday, the city reportedly failed to properly shelter a group of 60 migrants that arrived from Texas
The group was forced to sleep on chairs and the floor for five hours until beds were finally made available
The group fared better than the estimated 1,000 migrants out on the streets of El Paso after the Texas city saw its shelters fill up, forcing the immigrants to sleep on the streets on Wednesday
While some migrants were given mattresses, others only had sleeping bags as they rested in the middle of the street
While once again rebuking the busing protest policy carried on by officials in the Southwest, Adams said the city has been working to accommodate its newest arrivals since May.
‘This administration, on its own, has safely and efficiently provided shelter, health care, education, and a host of other services to more than 11,000 people predominantly from Central and South America who are seeking a better life,’ Adams said.
‘This is a remarkable achievement that has required – and will continue to require — the efforts of our entire team, and has become a reality that no city official, advocate, or court ever could have contemplated.’
Adams, however, is being called upon to do more after Legal Aid NY reported that the city has repeatedly failed to properly shelter groups of new migrants.
New York city is one of the few municipalities in the country with right-to-shelter laws, which guarantees that anyone who asks for shelter within a deadline must be given a place to stay that same day.
Migrant Nelson Pizaarro told NBC4 that he and others slept on the floor of a shelter for five hours before beds finally became available.
‘The first shelter I went to, they didn’t have a bed, so they sent me to a second place where they didn’t have a bed either.
Migrant Nelson Pizaarro said that after arriving to New York City this week, he was taken from shelter-to-shelter to try and find housing, but was ultimately left to wait hours sleeping on the floor for a bed to finally open up
The city said it needed to reassess its right-to-shelter policy amid the influx of migrants being bused into New York
Each of the arriving migrants at New York City’s Port Authority last week were provided with a handshake, a blanket and then escorted to a local hotel. The city says the system is in trouble amid the continuing arrivals
As Texas deals with a large influx of immigrants, officials began sending over buses full of migrants to so-called sanctuary cities including New York, Washington DC and Chicago
Legal Aid claimed that the city has more than enough shelters in place for the latest group of migrants and threatened legal action if the issue is not resolved.
‘We are extremely alarmed by the frequency of these violations under this administration,’ the group said in a statement. ‘Any New Yorker including an individual seeking asylum is legally entitled to placement in a safe and decent shelter.’
In response to Adams’ statement on Wednesday, the Legal Aid said: ‘While we understand and appreciate the demands that the City faces, the law is clear: Anyone in need of shelter, including asylum seekers, is entitled to such in New York City.’
The mayor’s office disputed claims that city officials previously acknowledged wrongdoing during Monday’s incident in failing to house 60 migrants, and did not comment further on the status of the men.
Adams Press Secretary Fabien Levy also denied claims that Adams was looking to change or alter the city’s right-to-shelter laws to avoid housing the migrants.
City records show that the number of people living in shelters has gone up to 57,000 people, a 25 percent increase from May, the New York Post reported.
Migrants from Venezuela set up tents near a bus station after being released from U.S. Border Patrol custody in El Paso, Texas on Tuesday
Following a large new surge of migrants, primarily from Venezuela, Border Patrol facilities and shelters in El Paso have been overwhelmed, leading to street encampments
Without access to basic facilities, migrants have been forced to use open-air toilets, leading to health and sanitation concerns
Meanwhile, a humanitarian crisis is deepening in the Texas border town of El Paso, where nearly 1,000 migrants have been released to sleep on the streets amid a surge of illegal crossings that is overwhelming Border Patrol facilities.
Following a large influx of migrants, primarily from Venezuela, Border Patrol facilities and shelters in the west Texas town have been overwhelmed in recent days, leading to a flood of so-called ‘street releases’.
Congressman Tony Gonzalez, a GOP US Representative, told the New York Post: ‘We’ve never seen anything like this. It’s a scene that you would see in a third-world country, not in the streets of El Paso.’
‘There’s nothing safe about having people roaming the streets, it’s almost apocalyptic,’ US Rep. Tony Gonzales, a Republican who represents part of El Paso
It has led to scenes of misery, with hundreds of migrants sleeping on the streets without access to toilets or showers, and residents say that the ‘smell of human waste is overwhelming in the area,’ according to KVIA-TV.
‘There’s nothing safe about having people roaming the streets, it’s almost apocalyptic,’ Gonzales, who represents part of El Paso, told the ABC affiliate.
‘I’d argue that we’re very compassionate people, people who want to give the shirt off their back, but when there’s no end in sight, it’s just not fair,’ said Gonzales.
US Customs and Border Protection says that in the El Paso sector, encounters with people crossing the border illegally have averaged about 1,300 per day since the start of September, up from the recent May high of 1,000.
Since last Wednesday, 932 migrants have been released in what are commonly known as ‘street releases’ and Border Patrol calls ‘provisional releases,’ according to NBC News.
In these cases, migrants are being released near bus stations in the hopes that they can make their own way to other parts of the United States.
‘Generally, after processing, migrants who are not detained for the duration of their removal proceeding are provisionally released in coordination with NGOs [non-governmental organizations],’ a Border Patrol spokeswoman told NBC.
‘If NGOs are over capacity, U.S. Border Patrol coordinates with local government and cities to identify locations where migrants can conveniently access transportation services or accommodations,’ the spokeswoman added.
The Border Patrol says that its agents do biometric screenings on migrants prior to ‘street releases’ and continue to hold those who may pose a threat to public safety.
It’s not entirely clear what has prompted the surge of Venezuelan migrants at the El Paso crossing specifically, but Venezuela has for years been undergoing an economic crisis and food shortages under its socialist regime.
US Customs and Border Protection says that in the El Paso sector, encounters with people crossing the border illegally have averaged about 1,300 per day since the start of September
Since last Wednesday, 932 migrants have been released in what are commonly known as ‘street releases’ and Border Patrol calls ‘provisional releases’
Migrants are detained by U.S. Border Patrol agents after crossing into the United States from Mexico to turn themselves in to request for asylum, in El Paso on Monday
The situation in El Paso comes days after the Biden administration officially extended special protections for Venezuelans, known as Temporary Protected Status, that shield some of them from deportation.
However, the protections are only supposed to apply to Venezuelan nationals who have been present in the US since March 8, 2021, and so would not include more recent arrivals.
El Paso’s mayor declared a state of emergency due to the border situation in May, and the emergency order was extended again on Monday.
El Paso’s Deputy City Manager, Mario D’Agostino, says his city has contacted the government directly to combat similar issues.
‘We’ve been in communication with the White House directly,’ he said. ‘We’ve been talking about some of the needs we’re seeing in our community and we need to continue helping in this effort.’
Due to the on-going crisi, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has begun bussing thousands of migrants to so-called sanctuary cities including New York, Washington DC and Chicago.
Both of the planes were carrying around 50 Venezuelan migrants
One immigrant told the Vineyard Gazette: ‘We’re immigrants. We came here because of the situation in our country, for the economy, for work, for lots of things. I came here walking’
State Senator Julian Cyr tweeted on Wednesday’s night: ‘Developing situation on #MarthasVineyard where migrants arrived via charter flight from TX this afternoon. Islanders working hard to provide food + shelter’
Taking a cue from Abbott, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is taking credit for two planeloads of migrants arriving in Martha’s Vineyard on Wednesday.
Pictures published by the Martha’s Vineyard Gazette and the Martha’s Vineyard Times showed the migrants in the affluent community where prominent liberals such as the Obamas, Oprah Winfrey and Larry David all have homes.
In a statement, DeSantis’ office said: ‘Yes, Florida can confirm the two planes with illegal immigrants that arrived in Martha’s Vineyard today were part of the state’s relocation program to transport illegal immigrants to sanctuary destinations.’
The remarks continued: ‘States like Massachusetts, New York, and California will better facilitate the care of these individuals who they have invited into our country’ by incentivizing illegal immigration through their designation as ‘sanctuary states’ and support for the Biden Administration’s open border policies.’
The press release went on: ‘As you may know, in this past legislative session the Florida Legislature appropriated $12 million to implement a program to facilitate the transport of illegal immigrants from this state consistent with federal law.’
The latest figure shows there were nearly 200,000 crossing at the border in July
So far this year, more than 1.8 million immigrants have crossed the southern border
President Joe Biden appointed Vice President Kamala Harris to tackle the ‘root causes’ of immigration, but so far border agents have made nearly 2 million border apprehensions, an all-time record, this fiscal year, which ends in October.
That number surpassed the already-historic 1.7 million encounters in fiscal year 2021.
Despite the surge, Harris insisted the border was secure during a Meet the Press interview on Sunday.
‘The border is secure, but we also have a broken immigration system, in particular, over the last four years before we came in, and it needs to be fixed,’ she said, deferring the blame to the Trump administration.
‘We have a secure border in that that is a priority for any nation including ours in our administration,’ Harris added.
‘But there are still a lot of problems that we are trying to fix,’ she said, calling for a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
In July there were nearly 200,000 encounters, a decline for the second consecutive month after four months of increases climaxing in May with a record-breaking 241,116 encounters.
August figures should be released soon.
With one month still left to go in the fiscal year, almost 750 border crossers have died making the dangerous journey northward to the U.S.