New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) ripped Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) for his “mean-spiritedness” in the illegal immigration crisis, saying he has “devastated” the lives of asylum-seekers.
Adams made those comments Thursday on Good Morning America 3, where he said the governor “has intentionality” in placing migrants on buses and “compelling” them to leave the city. The mayor said that is why he has sued more than a dozen charter bus and transportation companies involved in sending thousands of migrants to New York.
“We reached out and tried to coordinate with [Abbott], just the mean-spiritedness of this governor, who has this intentionality of just placing people on buses, compelling them to leave the city. That is why we taking legal action,” Adams said.
“When you look at what he’s doing, history is going to reflect how much he has devastated the lives of people,” he added.
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New York is a sanctuary city that limits how much local law enforcement officials can comply with federal immigration authorities. City law also requires homeless people to be housed — policies that don’t exist in border states like Texas.
There were more than 2.4 million migrant encounters in FY 23, and officials have told lawmakers last month that they are releasing an average of 5,000 a day into the U.S.
Abbott began busing migrants to Washington D.C. in April 2022, and has since expanded to cities including New York City, Denver, Philadelphia and Chicago. Additionally, the state has sent flights to some cities to protest the Biden administration’s immigration policies and highlight how communities at the border, with vastly fewer resources than sanctuary cities, are overwhelmed by the flow of illegal immigration.
Last week, Adams announced a $708 million lawsuit against 17 charter bus companies that have been employed by Texas to transport migrants to sanctuary cities like New York.
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The lawsuit argues that the companies have violated New York state law by not paying for the cost of caring for migrants and seeks damages meant to recoup the cost of caring for them. It cites New York law that requires anyone who brings a “needy person” from out of state for the purposes of making them a public charge to either take them out of the state or support them.
Abbott has dismissed the lawsuit as “baseless.” He has brushed off criticism from Adams and other Democrat mayors and said he is busing the migrants to help besieged Texas communities. The state says it has transported over 95,000 migrants to “sanctuary” cities, which Abbott recently noted is “only a FRACTION of what overwhelmed Texas border towns face daily.”
Adams said on Good Morning America 3 that almost 170,000 migrants have been “dropped” in New York City, roughly 1.5 times the population of Albany, New York. The mayor said there should be a national “decompression strategy” to spread asylum-seekers paroled into the United States “throughout the country and not target just certain cities.”
“Cities should not be handling a national crisis of this magnitude,” Adams said, noting that New York has received between 2,500 and 4,000 migrants each week.
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“You have to find housing, food, shelter, clothing, educating the children, health care, that’s not sustainable,” Adams said. “So a $12 billion hole in the budget of our economy is going to impact low-income New Yorkers and is going to impact every service in this city.”
The mayor stressed the need for migrants to be able to find “work.”
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“Listen, this is a country of immigrants,” Adams said. “The difference between what we did with Ukrainian citizens and other immigrants who have made their way here to this great country is we allowed them to work.”
“This is so anti-American, that we’re telling thousands of people you must come to a country and you can’t provide for your children and families. That is not how we are as a country, and that is what is at the heart of this issue.”
Fox News Digital’s Adam Shaw contributed to this report.