New York City sues charter bus companies for transporting migrants from Texas


NEW YORK (AP) — New York City is suing more than a dozen charter bus companies for their role in Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s operation to send thousands of migrants to urban areas.

The lawsuit claims that 17 bus companies “knowingly implemented” Abbott’s bus plan in violation of New York law that sets limits on moving “needy persons” across state lines. It seeks more than $700 million in compensation to offset the cost of caring for an estimated 33,000 migrants who arrived in the city on charter buses through April 2022.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in state court, marks the latest effort by New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a moderate Democrat, to turn back the busloads of migrants he sends through Texas each day. Abbott, a Republican, has said his goal is to draw attention to President Joe Biden’s border policy.

After 14 buses arrived in the city last month, Adams announced an executive order limiting the amount of time buses can drop off passengers and requiring prior notice of their arrival. Within days, many companies began dropping off migrants to cities around New York City, draw anger From local authorities.

Some bus companies appeared spooked by the latest lawsuit. “We don’t make the policies,” said David Jones, an employee at Buckeye Coach LLC, one of the charter companies named in the lawsuit. “We’re just a transportation company.”

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The Adams administration said the recent focus on bus companies was motivated by legal protections provided to the state of Texas under a doctrine called sovereign immunity. An emailed inquiry to Abbott was not immediately returned.

The lawsuit is based on a provision of New York law that applies to “bad faith” transfers of people across state borders. Under the law, any person who “knowingly brings, or causes to be brought, from outside the state into this state any needy person for the purpose of subjecting him to a public charge” is liable to care for the expenses of that person or to bring him out of the state. Is bound to. ,

Murad Avvadeh, executive director of the Immigration Coalition, called the legal action a distraction from larger issues facing the city as it seeks to care for newly arrived immigrants.

“This lawsuit is just another way for the mayor to find someone else to scapegoat for his lack of management of the situation,” Avavadeh said. “They need to stop taking pages out of Gov. Abbott’s playbook and step up and lead New York City.”

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