They were forced: New York City Mayor Eric Adams claims Texas is bussing migrants against their will

The NYC mayor suggested Sunday that Texas officials have lied to migrants about the destinations of busses departing southern border towns and in some cases forced families to take routes they didn’t agree to.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams called out Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Sunday, claiming the Lone Star State leader was bussing asylum seekers against their will to his city and misleading migrants about the destination of their trips.

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Governor Greg Abbott’s ongoing practice of bussing migrants detained near Texas’ southern border to metropolises in other states has touched a new nerve with New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who told reporters on Sunday that asylum seekers have arrived against their will in his city after being misled by officials in the Lone Star State.

On Sunday, Adams told Politico’s Erin Durkin that more than 4,000 asylum seekers have attempted to seek refuge at the city’s homeless shelters since May. “This is horrific, when you think about what the governor is doing,” Adams said while meeting a bus of arriving migrants at the Port Authority bus terminal.

Governor Abbott announced in a Friday press release the arrival of the first bus sent to the city from Texas. Abbott called New York City “the ideal destination for these migrants, who can receive the abundance of city services and housing the Mayor Eric Adams has boasted about within the sanctuary city.”

Adams on Sunday maintained that a spike in the number of individuals seeking board at the city’s homeless shelters in recent months is due to bussing efforts by state leaders in Texas and Arizona, which he says has been conducted without communication to city leaders and against the will of some asylum seekers.

“Some of the families are on the bus that wanted to go to other locations, and they were not allowed to do so,” Adams said, per Durkin. “They were forced on the bus. Our goal is to immediately find out each family’s needs and give them the assistance they want.”

Abbott’s office on Monday responded to Adams’ remarks, castigating the mayor and denying migrants were coerced or misled into making the trip to New York City.

“What’s horrific is the thousands of illegal immigrants overrunning and overwhelming our border communities with populations smaller than a New York City borough, and Mayor Adams is hypocritically upset about welcoming a few dozen into his sanctuary city,” Abbott Press Secretary Renae Eze said in a written statement. “These migrants willing chose to go to New York City, having signed a voluntary consent waiver, available in multiple languages, upon boarding that they agreed on the destination.”

Of the 40 passengers expected on the bus Adams met Sunday, only 14 individuals arrived at the New York City Port Authority terminal. The missing individuals appeared to have disembarked at stops along the way, according to Adams.

“It is unimaginable what the governor of Texas has done, when you think about this country, a country that has always been open to those who were fleeing persecution,” Adams said. “We’ve always welcomed them. And this governor is not doing that in Texas. But we are going to set the right tone of being here for these families.”

The New York mayor renewed appeals to the federal government for help in accommodating asylum seekers and blasted Abbott for failing to organize its bussing campaign with local authorities.

“It’s unfortunate that the governor of Texas isn’t coordinating,” Adams said. “They’re not giving us any information.”

The mayor’s remarks follow weeks of escalating words between himself and Abbott, who in an Aug. 1 letter invited Adams and Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser to “see firsthand the dire situation” at Texas’ U.S. border. Adams rejected the offer in a statement provided to the New York Daily News’ Michael Gartland.

“Instead of a photo-op at the border, we hope Governor Abbott will focus his energy and resources on providing support and resources to asylum seekers in Texas as we have been hard at work doing in New York City,” Adams spokesperson Fabien Levy said in a written statement. “We continue to work with federal partners to receive additional financial resources immediately, but will never turn our backs on those in need who are arriving here.”

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