More buses carrying illegal immigrants arrived in Washington, D.C., and New York City Thursday morning, including one that dropped off migrants close to Vice President Kamala Harris’ residence, Fox News reported.
For months now, Republican governors in border states like Texas and Arizona have chartered buses to carry migrants north and east into sanctuary cities and other parts of the country, where they await processing of their asylum claims. The migrants go voluntarily, often to meet and stay with family members or friends already in the country.
But critics have accused the governors of using migrants as “political pawns” or even of “kidnapping” them. GOP officials say that President Joe Biden’s administration is not doing enough to secure the border and that sending migrant buses to Democrat-run cities is a form of protest to show the reality facing border towns every day.
This is not the first time migrants have arrived outside Harris’ residence at the Naval Observatory in the nation’s capital. On Friday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s office said it had sent 8,000 migrants to D.C. since announcing the policy in April, the Texas Tribune reported. Abbott began sending the migrants to the vice president’s residence after she gave an interview on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” during which she claimed the border was secure even as the U.S. is projected to have a record two million people cross the border this year.
“The Biden-Harris Administration continues ignoring and denying the historic crisis at our southern border, which has endangered and overwhelmed Texas communities for almost two years,” Abbott said earlier this week. “Our supposed border czar, Vice President Kamala Harris, has yet to even visit the border to see firsthand the impact of the open border policies she has helped implement, even going so far as to claim the border is ‘secure.’”
Democratic leaders in cities receiving migrants have lashed out against the governors sending them and demanded federal assistance to house them. Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser called the situation in her city a “humanitarian crisis” in July and asked for the National Guard to be activated.
Bowser declared a public emergency over the migrant buses from Texas and Arizona last month. Her declaration will activate emergency funding to care for the migrants and set up the Office of Migrant Services. The office will provide temporary accommodations, medical care, transportation, and other services for migrants, Fox News reported.
Two migrant buses arrived in New York City as well on Thursday morning. Mayor Eric Adams’ office has said more than 16,000 illegal immigrants have been sent to New York from border states since May. On Monday, the mayor blasted both the “far right” and the “far left” for failing to come up with solutions to the migrant crisis.
Adams also announced that Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers would be constructed in various locations in the city to temporarily house migrants in tents. Local news station WNYW-TV also reported that Adams is close to striking a deal to house migrants on cruise ships.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) meanwhile pleaded for a “federal solution” on Tuesday.
“Let’s look at federal facilities, federal staff to help supplement the city and the state,” she told Bloomberg News in an interview.