Texas authorities on Aug. 5 said its first group of illegal immigrants would be transported to New York City, expanding a program that has drawn criticism from Democrats.
The group was going to be dropped off on Friday morning at Port Authority Bus Terminal, in the borough of Manhattan, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said.
Abbott, a Republican, said at the time that the program, which immigrants volunteer for, is meant to take the illegal immigration crisis to President Joe Biden's doorstep.
"Because of President Biden’s continued refusal to acknowledge the crisis caused by his open border policies, the State of Texas has had to take unprecedented action to keep our communities safe," Abbott said in a statement.
"In addition to Washington, D.C., New York City is the ideal destination for these migrants, who can receive the abundance of city services and housing that Mayor Eric Adams has boasted about within the sanctuary city. 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," Abbott added.
Adams, a Democrat, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
More than 4,000 illegal immigrants have been transported to Washington by Texas and Arizona authorities, officials there said in July. Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat, requested National Guard assistance to deal with the surge of immigrants, which she said was overwhelming the city's support systems.
Invitation Turned DownBowser and Adams have both been critical of Abbott and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, alleging the programs are not helping the illegal immigrants. The White House has also decried the efforts.
Adams rejected the offer.
"Instead of a photo-op at the border, we hope Governor Abbott will focus his energy and resources on providing support and resources to asylum seekers in Texas as we have been hard at work doing in New York City," a spokesman for the mayor said in a statement.
"We continue to work with federal partners to receive additional financial resources immediately, but will never turn our backs on those in need who are arriving here," the spokesman added.
Bowser has not appeared to respond to the invitation.
Adams announced an "emergency procurement declaration" on Aug. 1, which enables the city to quickly expand its shelter system.
The action came due to a flood of illegal immigrants. Authorities pegged the number that has arrived since late May at 4,000, but acknowledged the figure was a "conservative estimate" because officials do not ask for a person's immigration status when entering them into the system.