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Texas governor sends migrants to New York City as immigration standoff accelerates

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By Ted Hesson and Sofia Ahmed

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, said on Friday he has started to send buses carrying migrants to New York City in an effort to push responsibility for border crossers to Democratic mayors and U.S. President Joe Biden, a Democrat.

The first bus arrived early on Friday at the city’s Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. Volunteers were putting groups of migrants in taxis headed to a nearby intake center, where they said some would be processed for admission to city homeless shelters.

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Abbott, who is running for a third term as governor in November elections, has sent more than 6,000 migrants to Washington since April in a broader effort to combat illegal immigration and call out Biden for his more welcoming policies.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, another Republican, has followed Abbott’s lead and bused another 1,000 to Washington.

U.S. border authorities have made record numbers of arrests under Biden although many are repeat crossers. Some migrants who are not able to be expelled quickly to Mexico or their home countries under a COVID-era policy are allowed into the United States, often to pursue asylum claims in U.S. immigration court.

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New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ office did not immediately respond to a request for comment but he has in recent weeks criticized the bussing efforts to Washington, saying some migrants were making their way to New York City and overwhelming its homeless shelter system, comments that have only further encouraged Abbott.

“The migrants can receive the abundance of city services and housing that Mayor Eric Adams has boasted about within the sanctuary city,” Abbott said in a statement. “I hope he follows through on his promise of welcoming all migrants with open arms so that our overrun and overwhelmed border towns can find relief.”

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser has also said her city’s shelter system has been taxed by migrant arrivals and last month called on the Biden administration to deploy military troops to assist with receiving the migrants, a request that has frustrated White House officials.

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(Reporting by Sofia Ahmed in New York and Ted Hesson in Washington; Editing by Mica Rosenberg and Daniel Wallis)

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