New York City sues bus companies over migrant transportation from Texas
New York City initiated legal action against 17 bus companies on Thursday, alleging they illegally transported over 33,000 migrants from Texas. This action is part of Texas Governor Greg Abbott's campaign to remove individuals who enter the U.S. illegally across the Mexican border.
The lawsuit, filed in a state court in Manhattan, seeks $708 million for shelter and services provided to these migrants over the past two years.
While the state of Texas is not named in the lawsuit, the city has targeted 17 charter bus companies contracted by Texas for this operation. Most of these companies are Texas-based and lack press relations offices for immediate comment.
The lawsuit contends that these companies breached a 19th-century New York law. This legislation mandates that anyone transporting a "needy person" to New York from another state, who is likely to require government assistance, must cover their expenses.
New York City accuses these companies of earning millions of dollars by knowingly transporting migrants in need of shelter and services. According to the lawsuit, these companies have also transported thousands of migrants to other U.S. cities, including Chicago and Washington, D.C.
The lawsuit further alleges that some companies violated an order from Mayor Eric Adams. This order mandates bus operators to inform the city if they are transporting 10 or more passengers likely to seek emergency shelter.
Governor Abbott began sending buses of migrants to New York and other Democrat-led cities in 2022, responding to the record number of illegal border crossings. He has been a vocal critic of President Joe Biden's handling of the border situation and has implemented measures to discourage illegal immigration.
In response to a new Texas law granting state officials extensive authority over migrant arrest, prosecution, and deportation, the Biden administration filed a lawsuit on Wednesday.
Governor Abbott, defending his actions, stated that the migrants transported to New York City did so voluntarily and had been authorized by the Biden Administration to remain in the United States. He described New York City's lawsuit as baseless, highlighting migrants' constitutional right to travel within the country.