(CNN) — Wednesday, a day after city officials criticized Texas Governor Greg Abbott for settling migrants detained at the border in the city as part of their campaign to draw attention to an influx of migrants from Mexico More migrants continued to arrive in New York City.
City officials said the intake centers are already overwhelmed with more than 4,000 people since the surge began in May.
City officials said three buses carrying about 100 migrants from Texas arrived in New York City early Wednesday. The migrants who arrived on Wednesday were from Venezuela and Colombia, said Shaina Coronel, a spokeswoman for Manuel Castro, commissioner of the mayor’s office of immigration.
According to Michael Whitesides, a spokesman for councilwoman Shahana Hanif, the immigrants were a mix of families and single men. Coronel said they arrived between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. to applause from volunteers, including Hanif.
“Mutual support groups were delivering our care packages with food and bags to go, while NYIC and Immigrant Arch helped with legal services,” Whitesides said.
The mayor’s office for immigration affairs said about eight migrants who got off the bus needed emergency medical care for various health issues.
Over the weekend, at least 68 more immigrants arrived by bus from Texas.
And while the city plans to open a more specialized aid center in the next two weeks, along with more emergency housing, officials are grappling with a lack of coordination from the state of Texas, he said.
“He has essentially weaponized this situation,” Castro said Tuesday, speaking at a city council hearing. “We’ve learned that the bus company they’re working with has a nondisclosure agreement that doesn’t allow them to communicate with New York City.”
Mayor Eric Adams accused Abbott of putting migrants on buses, a charge the governor’s office denied on Monday.
On Friday of last week, Abbott’s office issued a statement saying New York City is now a designated location “for a bus strategy with Washington, as part of the governor’s response to the Biden administration’s open borders policies.” In the form that overwhelms communities in Texas.
Abbott began sending thousands of migrants to Washington earlier this year as an insult to the Biden administration.
Adams said in an unrelated news program, “It’s unimaginable. Arriving in a country and taking someone out on your first visit, like the governor of Texas is doing, and then trying to navigate this complicated country to serve.” are doing.” on Tuesday.
Abbott’s office reiterated earlier comments Wednesday that immigrants settled in New York City are leaving voluntarily and have signed a waiver of consent for their destination.
“These migrants voluntarily opted to move to New York City, signed a voluntary consent waiver, which is available in multiple languages upon boarding, and agreed to the destination. If the mayor wants a solution to this crisis, he must ask President Biden to take immediate action to secure the border, something the president fails to do,” Abbott’s press secretary, René Eise, said in a statement. .
A copy of the waiver obtained by CNN lists Washington and New York City as “available destinations.” It also includes a line that exempts Texas and its officers from “liability in any way arising from or in connection with injuries and damages caused during agreed transportation to locations outside Texas.”
Abbott’s office did not respond to questions about non-disclosure agreements for bus companies.
A migrant who arrived on Wednesday, who spoke to CNN on condition of anonymity, said he has family in New York City and voluntarily boarded the bus. He had previously traveled from Venezuela to the border for a month-long journey, which he described as an arduous journey, and was happy to finally be reunited with his family in New York.
He described the three-day trip to New York as a comfortable ride, and said food and water were provided. The man claimed that some people on the bus wanted to come to New York of their own free will and arranged to meet relatives.
Coronell said others who arrived on Wednesday were seeking final destinations in Chicago, Miami, Maryland, North Carolina, along with the New York City of Rochester and the City of Westbury.
City officials say migrants need housing, legal and medical help
At Tuesday’s hearing, city officials elaborated on the challenge of providing services such as housing, legal aid and even medical aid.
“When the buses come, people are hungry, thirsty and often sick,” Castro said. “And those are urgent needs. Asylum seekers have a lot of unique needs.”
New York City Department of Social Services Commissioner Gary Jenkins told a hearing on “New York City’s Long-Time Shelter Admission Problems and Recent Rise in Asylum Seekers” that migrants are housed in 11 emergency sites: four in Manhattan, three in Queens, Two in Brooklyn and two in the Bronx, he said.
New York City Office of Emergency Management Commissioner Zack Iscoll said the city expected to open a special service center in the next two weeks. That center will primarily offer legal services and enrollment in public schools for children who have attended, among others. Next, they plan to send people to community organizations as a way to enroll immigrants in different communities, Iskol said.
Adams, for his part, said he is seeking more state and federal aid, and he hopes to speak with the Biden administration before the weekend. He also highlighted the conditions that most Texas immigrants had to endure, with a 45-hour bus journey and limited stops, although, according to him, some wanted to move to another state.
“Nothing succeeds in treating people with this lack of respect,” the mayor said.
CNN’s Isa Kaufman-Gebel contributed to this article.