DC, New York can handle migrant buses if border towns survive thousands of migrants daily, Texas mayor says

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Washington, D.C. and New York City can handle a few busloads of migrants if small border towns could accommodate hundreds — or thousands — of migrants every day, the Texas mayor of McAllen told Fox News.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser criticized Texas Governor Greg Abbott for transporting hundreds of migrants from the border of his state to their northern cities.

Adams called Abbott’s bus program “inhumane,” while Bowser compared the arrival of migrants to a “humanitarian crisis.”

“You see New York, you see Washington kind of drowning with a few buses,” McAllen mayor Javier Villalobos told Fox News. “We used to get over a thousand people a day.”

“The town of McAllen could handle thousands of immigrants a day,” Villalobos said. “I think they can handle a few hundred.”

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McAllen, Texas Mayor Javier Villalobos speaks about migration affecting border communities.
(Fox News Digital/Jon Michael Raasch)

McAllen faced record immigration in 2021, managing more than 130,000 new arrivals between February and November, according to city data. Villalobos said McAllen sees about 100 crossings a day.

Abbott in April ordered the Texas Division of Emergency Management to begin transporting illegal immigrants released from federal custody in Texas to Washington, DC, and other locations outside the Lone Star State. Villalobos said he initially questioned whether Abbott had the authority to transport migrants out of the state.

“When I found out it was voluntary, well, that’s great because that’s the ultimate destination these individuals want to go anyway,” McAllen said. “So if it’s delivered, as the state of Texas explains, in a sense they’re a little lucky, and it’s lucky for us that we can ship them even faster.”

Migrants are streaming across the Texas border.

Migrants are streaming across the Texas border.
(Fox news)

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New York City is an ideal destination for migrants because they can get “the abundance of city services and housing that Mayor Eric Adams has bragged about in the sanctuary city,” Abbott said in a statement. “I hope he keeps his promise to welcome all migrants with open arms so that our flooded and overwhelmed border towns can find relief.”

The lone star state has transported more than 6,800 migrants to Washington DC since April and more than 360 migrants to New York City as of last week, according to the governor’s office. By comparison, the Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen saw more than 1,500 new migrants arrive over several days in early late July and early August 2021, according to a city report.

New York Mayor Eric Adams, left, and Texas Governor Greg Abbott, right, who disagree on immigration policy, have openly criticized each other.

New York Mayor Eric Adams, left, and Texas Governor Greg Abbott, right, who disagree on immigration policy, have openly criticized each other.
(Getty images)

Villalobos said migration has become a political game between Democrats and Republicans.

“The other thing that I think is very important is that they keep pushing Washington, and I mean the president, the senate, the congress, to finally, finally, take care of the problems instead of just creating a political football, kick it back and forth,” he told Fox News.

More than 2 million encounters with migrants have been recorded since October 2021, the highest number of enforcement actions ever recorded, according to Customs and Border Protection.

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Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser said the migrants arriving in the city are a "humanitarian crisis."

Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser said the migrants arriving in the city represent a “humanitarian crisis.”
(Brian Stukes/Getty Images)

Still, there will likely be no changes to immigration policy this year because of the midterm exams, Villalobos said.

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The mayor also told Fox News that he is concerned about terrorists being captured while trying to cross the border. Since October 2021, 110 migrants have been found on the southern border who, according to the CBP, are on the terrorist screening dataset, also known as the terrorist watch list.

‘People have been arrested who were on the terrorist list, how many others have not?’ said Villalobos. “We’re talking thousands of the thousands of people who don’t get caught.”

“It’s a more national issue,” Villalobos told Fox News. “And now people are seeing it.”

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