The federal government is paying to bus illegal migrants from one border town to New York City, a Texas official told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The city government of El Paso, Texas, is busing illegal migrants to the Big Apple on the dime of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Deputy City Manager Mario D’Agostino told the DCNF Monday. The federal agency covers the travel costs of illegal migrants through a grant program. (RELATED: DC To Allow Illegal Migrant Students To Enroll In Schools)
“The travel costs for migrants are covered through FEMA’s emergency food and shelter grant. The City/OEM submits for reimbursement on a quarterly basis as the process dictates,” D’Agostino told the DCNF.
“With the goal to provide for the safety of the migrants from the elements and to preserve the community’s transitory hospitality shelter capacities so they may continue to serve our homeless community, OEM [Office of Emergency Management] has sponsored and provided transportation services for migrants out of El Paso, which is reimbursable through FEMA,” he said.
Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams and the White House have both criticized Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for busing illegal migrants to his city and Washington, D.C., with Adams accusing Abbott of using the migrants as “political pawns,” in an Aug. 7 tweet.
Moreover, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called Abbott’s actions “shameful” in July.
“We believe it’s shameful that some governors are using migrants as a political tool, as a political play, when we should be making sure that we’re doing everything that we can to help folks who are coming into this process in a legal way and making sure that we do this in a safe way and respectful way. And I think it is shameful that that is happening,” Jean-Pierre said at the time.
The Office of Emergency Management has sponsored four charter buses to New York City, according to D’Agostino.
“The trips to New York City were specific to groups of individuals requesting transport to New York City. These groups had no sponsors or means to travel, so the City of El Paso and OEM offered and sponsored their transportation,” D’Agostino said.
El Paso began busing migrants to New York City because the local shelters lacked the resources to support the surge of migrants crossing the border, according to D’Agostino. Since October, over 1,900,000 migrants have been encountered at the U.S.-Mexico border, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) statistics.
“This issue remains a humanitarian concern for the City of El Paso and the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) due to the increasing number of migrants passing through the region, limited federal and local shelter capacities, and increasing number of migrants that are not sponsored or have means to travel,” D’Agostino told the DCNF.
The White House, FEMA and Adams’ office didn’t respond to the DCNF’s requests for comment.