NEW YORK - A busload of about 50 migrants dispatched to New York City by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott arrived early Friday as the Lone Star State Republican continued his war with the White House over its open border policies.
The migrants pulled in on a bus at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown around 6:30 a.m., with a news release from Abbott callously declaring New York was now "a drop-off location" for the people crossing the border into Texas.
The governor, prior to the bus's Friday arrival in Manhattan, had already sent thousands of migrants to Washington, D.C., in the escalating political battle where Mayor Eric Adams quickly denounced Abbott for grandstanding on the backs of the new arrivals.
"This is despicable what we're witnessing in Texas," Adams said later at Gracie Mansion. "The Texas governor - using human beings as a political play - he finally admitted what we were saying. We're going to continue to be open arms. This is who we are as a city."
Adams planned to speak later Friday with federal officials about additional funding to offer support to the new arrivals. A mayoral spokesman had earlier denounced Abbott's bus stunt as "an embarrassing stain on the state of Texas" while dismissing the governor as an "inept politician."
The bus's arrival, after a 1,750-mile trip east, marked an escalation in the ongoing tussle between the governor and the mayor over the issue. None of the new arrivals remained when reporters arrived at the busy terminal two hours later, with Fox News the only news outlet present when the bus pulled in.
"Because of President (Joe) Biden's continued refusal to acknowledge the crisis caused by his open border policies, the state of Texas has had to take unprecedented action to keep our communities safe," said a statement from Abbott.
In a later tweet, the governor described New York as "the ideal destination for these migrants. They can receive the services Mayor Adams has boasted about (within) the sanctuary city."
The Legal Aid Society and the Coalition for the Homeless issued a joint statement ripping Abbott while calling on the city to ensure beds and other "critical services" were available to the new arrivals.
"Governor Abbott is shamelessly exploiting these migrants - human beings who have endured immense suffering in their home countries and on the journey to the United States, seeking safe haven and a better life - to serve some myopic purpose," the two organizations said.
Murad Awawdeh, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, branded Abbott as "a cold-hearted publicity-seeking bigot."
About two dozen of the newly arrived men were led from the men's shelter on E. 30th Street in the afternoon to board a yellow school bus for an undisclosed location.
New York, as a "right-to-shelter" state, is required by law to provide same-day housing for any adult who arrives by 10 p.m. with children at a homeless shelter.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, whose city has already received more than 6,000 immigrants bused from Texas, has accused Abbott of "cruel political gamesmanship ... (using) desperate people to score political points."
Adams earlier this week turned down an Abbott invitation to visit Texas as the sparring between the New York Democrat and the Texas governor continued.