El Paso busses migrants to New York City


El Paso was forced to send more than 35 Venezuelan immigrants to New York City by charter bus due to the increase of migrants crossing from South America. Photo courtesy of Senior Airman Caleb S. Kimmell/Wikipedia Commons

Victoria Rivas, Contributor

As the number of migrants crossing from South America to the U.S. increased at the borderland, El Paso was forced to send more than 35 Venezuelan immigrants to New York City. 

These efforts are part of Operation Lone Star, a strategy in response to Biden’s administration’s attempt to end Title 42. 

El Paso joined the efforts of Texas Governor Greg Abbott, to send multiple charter busses with asylum seekers to New York City and Washington D.C.. 

“Texas has bussed over 7,600 migrants to our nation’s capital since April and over 1,900 migrants to New York City since Aug. 5,” said Abbott in a statement. “On Wednesday, the first two buses with over 95 migrants from Texas arrived in Chicago, Illinois. The busing mission is providing much-needed relief to our overwhelmed border communities.” 

Title 42, known as the pandemic-era rule, was invoked by the Trump administration to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in immigrant detention centers. It allows immigration officers to quickly deport migrants who have crossed the border, preventing them from seeking asylum. 

“President Biden’s inaction at our southern border continues putting the lives of Texans and Americans at risk and is overwhelming our communities,” Abbott said Abbott. “To continue providing much-needed relief to our small, overrun border towns, Chicago will join fellow sanctuary cities Washington, D.C. and New York City as an additional drop-off location.” 

According to El Paso Matters, El Paso did not make the transportation of migrants to New York City public until they were questioned by one of their reporters.

City officials held a press conference Aug. 30 and explained they used charter buses to transport immigrants out of the city due to an overflow in local shelters. 

“The city of El Paso has been assisting our local NGO’s (non-government organizations) and our local shelter system for a long time,” said El Paso’s Deputy City Manager Mario D’Agostino, during the press conference. “We have been assisting them with resources needed so that they can continue with their operations that are needed for the migrants that are passing through our community. Paso Del Norte, that is what we are. We are a pass.” 

City officials claim chartering busses is a way of providing the necessary services to the migrant community and preventing a “humanitarian concern.” 

The El Paso City-County Office of Emergency Management arranged the transportation of immigrants who chose to go. 

“To avoid putting our shelters over capacity, we went ahead and charted that initial bus on Tuesday, Aug. 23, to New York City,” said D’Agostino. 

According to D’Agostino, the Opportunity Center for the Homeless contacted the County Office of Emergency Management about 35 displaced migrants. 

“If you could have seen the joy in the people’s faces as they hurriedly made their preparation for the trip,” said El Paso’s Deputy Director of the Opportunity Center John Martin. “I’ve never seen individuals run so quickly to take a shower so that they could get on a bus and be able to go where they wanted to go.” 

Although the city did not immediately plan to continue chartering busses out of El Paso, they could resume if there is an increase in immigrants seeking shelter at the borderland. 

“With 100 percent confidence, I can tell you this is their choice, this is their desire, and this is the direction they want to go,” Martin said.    

Victoria Rivas is a guest contributor and may be reached at [email protected]; @VicRivas_18 on Twitter.