New York, Jan 4 (EFE).-
New York Mayor Eric Adams’ administration filed a lawsuit on Thursday against 17 charter bus companies that transported migrants from Texas to the city for nearly two years, seeking $708 million to cover the cost of their care.
The lawsuit comes after the mayor warned Wednesday that he was exploring all options to counter the actions of bus companies that are taking migrants to the neighboring state of New Jersey to travel to New York, thus evading an executive order from Adams that imposes precise time and days for migrant charter trips.
In a statement, New York Mayor Eric Adams mentioned that Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, has sent approximately 33,600 migrants to New York over the past 20 months. These migrants were transported without the responsible companies paying for the service.
“Today, we are taking legal action against 17 companies that have taken part in Texas Governor Abbott’s scheme to transport tens of thousands of migrants to New York City in an attempt to overwhelm our social services system,” added Adams.
The Democratic mayor also reiterated that the city “cannot bear the costs of reckless political ploys from the state of Texas alone.”
New York’s lawsuit aims to recover the money it has already invested in shelter, food, and education for the children, as well as the money the city will spend on the more than 65,000 immigrants in its care and the investment it will make in those transported from Texas under Abbott’s plan in the future.
Adams explained that the transportation companies violate the state’s Social Services Code, which states that companies that intentionally transport people in need of shelter and services to the city as part of a malicious plan must pay for those costs.
“The law is clear: By participating in this reckless scheme, these bus companies take on responsibility for those costs,” pointed out Lisa Zornberg, Chief Counsel to the Mayor and City Hall.
The mayor has repeatedly warned that the arrival of over 160,000 immigrants since April 2022 has created a humanitarian and fiscal crisis.
He anticipates that this situation will result in $12 billion in spending by mid-2025.
The continuous influx of migrants, whether sent by Texas or arriving independently from other states, prompted the city to rent hotels as shelters, set up tents, implement measures like time limits in shelters, and ultimately establish specific days and times for the arrival of buses.
According to Abbott, in the spring of 2022, he started sending buses full of immigrants to cities with Democratic mayors, first Washington, then New York to distribute the immigration burden that his state is facing due to the policies of President Joe Biden’s administration.
He has also sent immigrants to Boston, Massachusetts; Denver, Colorado; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Los Angeles, California.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul also said, “Governor Abbott continues to use human beings as political pawns, and it’s about time that the companies facilitating his actions take responsibility for their role in this ongoing crisis,” making it clear her support for the mayor’s initiative. EFE