The head of a homeless shelter in the Texas border city of El Paso said that illegal immigrants who are being bused to New York are voluntarily going there, disputing Democrats’ claims of human trafficking.
Blake Barrow, the CEO of the El Paso Rescue Mission in Texas, published a letter on Sept. 21 asking the Biden administration for assistance in dealing with the illegal immigration crisis. The surge has overwhelmed homeless shelters in El Paso, a border city that sits across the Rio Grande from Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.
“We have all heard press reports about busing migrants to different parts of the country. Here are the facts as I have seen them: Almost all of the migrants arrive with an idea of an ultimate destination,” Barrow wrote in the letter.
In his letter, he said a significant number of illegal aliens actually “want to go to New York.” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has been busing them to the Democrat-led cities of Chicago, New York, and Washington in recent months.
“About 20 percent of them want to go to New York. The city (of El Paso) has been chartering buses to New York to assist those desiring that destination. I am not aware of anyone being placed on a bus to New York who did not want to go there,” Barrow wrote, disputing allegations made by Democrats that illegal aliens are being transported against their will.
New York Mayor Eric Adams and other top city officials have alleged, without evidence, that illegal aliens are being forced onto buses to the city.
“Some of the families are on the bus that wanted to go to other locations, and they were not allowed to do so. They were forced on the bus,” Adams said in August. “Our goal is to immediately find out each family’s needs and give them the assistance they want.”
However, Abbott has long contended that the busing plan is voluntary and said the individuals are willing participants.
Several days ago, the City of El Paso confirmed that it has its own illegal immigrant busing program—separate from what Abbott and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis are doing. Several illegal aliens who were transported to Martha’s Vineyard at DeSantis’s behest have filed a lawsuit against the governor, although his office has disputed key claims in the suit.
Mario D’Agostino, El Paso’s deputy health manager, told Fox News that many of the aliens who enter the United States via Mexico want to go to New York.
“By far, the vast majority of them have requested to go to New York City,” D’Agostino told Fox News. “We’ve also had several large groups that are asking to go to Chicago.”
In the open letter, Barrow wrote that his El Paso shelter has recently received roughly 500 illegal aliens from Venezuela who need food, water, and clothing.
“Obviously, we need a well-coordinated, federal solution to this problem, but, so far, no one from Washington has asked our opinions.”