Eric Adams Criticizes Abbott over Migrant Crisis Handling

Amid a heated immigration debate, tensions escalate in NYC.

by Nouman Rasool
Eric Adams Criticizes Abbott over Migrant Crisis Handling
© Spencer Platt/Getty Images

New York City Mayor Eric Adams has openly criticized Texas Governor Greg Abbott for what he describes as "mean-spirited" actions in the ongoing immigration crisis. Speaking on Good Morning America 3, Adams accused Abbott of deliberately inflicting hardship on asylum-seekers by busing them out of Texas.

This move has led Adams to file a substantial lawsuit against several charter bus companies involved in transporting thousands of migrants to New York. Adams expressed his frustrations, stating, "We tried to coordinate with [Abbott], but faced nothing but mean-spiritedness.

This governor intentionally places people on buses, compelling them to leave the city. That's why we're taking legal action." He added, "History will look back on how he's devastated these individuals' lives." The lawsuit, announced last week, targets 17 charter bus companies hired by Texas and seeks $708 million in damages.

The basis of the lawsuit is the violation of New York state law, which mandates those who bring "needy persons" into the state for the purpose of making them public charges to either support them or remove them from the state.

Abbott Defends Actions

Governor Abbott has labeled the lawsuit "baseless", defending his actions as an attempt to alleviate the burden on Texas border communities. Texas reports having transported over 95,000 migrants to various "sanctuary" cities, a figure Abbott highlights as a mere fraction of the challenges faced by Texas border towns.

With over 2.4 million migrant encounters in FY 23, and an average of 5,000 migrants being released into the U.S. daily, the situation remains pressing. Highlighting the scale of the issue, Adams noted that almost 170,000 migrants have been sent to New York City, exceeding the population of Albany, New York.

He called for a national "decompression strategy" to distribute asylum-seekers across the country, rather than concentrating them in specific cities. Adams emphasized that managing such a crisis at the city level is unsustainable, citing the strain on resources required for housing, food, healthcare, and education.

Adams also stressed the importance of enabling migrants to work, comparing the current situation unfavorably to the treatment of Ukrainian refugees and other immigrants. "This is so anti-American," Adams stated, "forcing thousands to come to a country where they can't provide for their families. That is not the American way."