New York City announces lawsuit against bus companies that send immigrants to the city and seeks $708 million

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New York City Mayor Eric Adams has announced a lawsuit against 17 bus and transportation companies that help send asylum seekers to the city as he faces major budget issues. surrounding the crisis.

The city is seeking $708 million in the lawsuit to cover the costs of caring for immigrants.

“New York City has and will always do our part to manage this humanitarian crisis, but we cannot bear the costs of the reckless political schemes of the state of Texas alone,” Adams said in a statement. “Today we are taking legal action against 17 companies that have participated in the Texas Governor. [Greg] Abbott’s plan to transport tens of thousands of immigrants to New York City in an attempt to overwhelm our social services system.

He continued: “These companies have violated state law by not paying the cost of caring for these immigrants, and that is why we are suing to recover approximately $700 million already spent to care for immigrants sent here in the last two years by Texas.” .

The lawsuit still must be reviewed by the county clerk.

New York City has struggled to keep up with the financial burden of tens of thousands of immigrants arriving in the city since Abbott began Operation Lone Star. Abbott said December 29 the state had sent “more than 33,600” immigrants to New York City since August 2022.

Transportation companies named in the lawsuit include: Buckeye Coach, Carduan Tours, Classic Elegance Coaches, Coastal Crew Change Company, Executive Enterprises, El Paso United Charters, García and Garcia Enterprises, JY Charter Bus, Lily’s Bus Lines, Mayo Tours, Norteno Express. , Roadrunner Charters, Southwest Crew Change Company, Transportes Regiomontanos, VLP Charter, Windstar Lines and Wynne Transportation.

“As of November 27, 2023, Defendants have earned millions of dollars in revenue from Texas for implementing the Governor of Texas’ plan,” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit cites section 149 of the New York Social Services law, which requires “[a]Any person who knowingly brings or causes to be brought a needy person from out of state to this state for the purpose of making him or her a public charge…shall be required to remove such person from out of state or maintain him or her on his or her own. own account. “.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul also supported the lawsuit.

“Governor Abott continues to use humans as political pawns, and it is time for the companies that enable his actions to take responsibility for their role in this ongoing crisis,” Hochul said in a statement. “If they are paid to break the law by transporting people who need public assistance to our state, they should bear the cost of housing those people, not simply pass that expense on to hard-working New Yorkers. I am proud to support the mayor’s lawsuit.”

Adams and Hochul have repeatedly pushed for support from the federal government to address the costs of immigrants coming to the city.

Adam also announced a new executive order at the end of December that would “improve the coordination of the charter bus companies that transport new immigrants arriving in New York City, ensuring the safety and well-being of both the immigrants and the city staff who receive them.”

“New York City has begun to see another wave of immigrants arriving, and we expect this to intensify in the coming days as a result of Texas Governor Abbott’s cruel and inhumane policy,” Adams said in a statement.

Just a few days later, the buses began leave immigrants in New Jersey and telling them to use public transportation into the city to avoid running afoul of the executive order.

In an interview from August 2022 With “Nightline,” just after the release of Operation Lone Star, Abbott accused Adams of “playing politics” and called him a “hypocrite.”

“He’s also being a hypocrite because New York City is a self-proclaimed ‘sanctuary city,'” Abbott said. “And so why you complain for a moment about these people being bussed into a city, it goes against your own self-declaration of being a sanctuary city.”

The term “sanctuary city” refers to municipalities like New York City that are willing to defy federal immigration laws to protect undocumented immigrants.

There were a record 302,000 immigrants encounters on the southern border in December, according to Customs and Border Protection.

ABC News’ Mark Osborne contributed to this report.

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