AUSTIN (Nexstar) — Waivers released from state officials to Nexstar on Wednesday are giving us a better idea of what migrants are agreeing to before getting bused from Texas to the East Coast, as part of Gov. Greg Abbott’s initiative to make those cities “deal with the problem.”
In early April, Abbott announced a plan for Texas to organize charter buses to transport migrants, who have crossed the border and agreed to the transportation, to Washington, D.C. The first bus for the capital city arrived April 13. New York City officials said they were surprised when the first bus of migrants arrived in Manhattan last Friday.
The consent forms, which Nexstar obtained in both English and Spanish, ask migrants to agree to be transported “by the State of Texas or its designated agency officials” to locations outside of the state “such as Washington, D.C. or New York, New York.”
It then asks migrants for their signature, the date, date of birth, location of departure and location of arrival. Below the signature line, the form lists Washington, D.C. and New York City as the two available destinations.
It has a brief description explaining why those cities are destinations for the buses. For the nation’s capital, the form says the city is where Congress and the President of the United States are located, who are “more immediately able to help address the needs of migrants who have entered the country.” The form notes New York’s city council designated it as a sanctuary city and “is providing shelter and food to migrants who have entered the country.”
On Wednesday, two more buses carrying migrants arrived in the “Big Apple.”
New York City officials were quick to condemn the Texas governor after receiving its first bus of about 50 migrants last Friday. Mayor Eric Adams has said the city is willing to help these migrants, but needs more information in advance so its shelters can prepare.
“Unlike Governor Abbott, New York City will always do our part,” Adams said on Twitter, after his office posted images of the mayor greeting migrants and refugees arriving in Manhattan. “But we need the federal government’s help — money, technical assistance and more.”
The Republican governor quickly hit back on his personal Twitter account, saying “Mayor Adams has no idea what Texas deals with every day at our southern border. NYC can’t handle even a fraction of the chaos Biden has created.”
New York City officials suggested several migrants arrived confused and didn’t know where they were going. While it’s unclear how the forms were presented to migrants, the waivers do specify those two cities as possible destinations.
How much each bus costs is unknown. Abbott directed the Texas Department of Emergency Management to charter the buses for transporting migrants but has not publicly shared how much this is costing. On April 27, the governor launched a donation portal asking people to donate directly to fund these buses.