Fewer migrants than expected arriving this weekend at NYC bus terminal
NEW YORK — The anticipated surge of migrants after a federal border restriction expired was more of a slow drip Saturday as only three buses with 124 new arrivals pulled into Midtown.
The passengers pulled into the Port Authority Bus Terminal between 6:30 a.m. and 7:45 a.m., said Power Malu, executive director of Artists Athletes Activists.
Malu said his group was also assisting a growing number of migrants coming into the Big Apple by plane, with daily arrivals growing to about 200.
“I want to highlight the fact that we’ve been doing pickups at the airport,” he said. “Although (Port Authority) has been the spot people highlight the most, the most consistently has been the airports.
“We’ve been paying for Ubers and Lyfts to get people out of the airports, to get them to shelters.”
A Saturday email to the Port Authority for comment was not immediately returned.
But Josh Goldfein, staff attorney with the Homeless Rights Project at The Legal Aid Society, urged the city to start providing services to those coming by air.
“To date, the city has refused to conduct outreach at local airports where most asylum seekers are arriving,” said Goldfein. “These families and individuals have exclusively relied on the transportation services provided by mutual aid groups to reach critical city resources.”
He called on the Adams administration to take steps to ensure the new arrivals aren’t left languishing at the airports or other arrival points.
Gov. Kathy Hochul, in a Friday letter to President Joe Biden, called for federal assistance in dealing with anticipated increase of migrants in the coming days — with several thousand expected each week in the near future.
“I have determined that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and affected local government,” she wrote.
Hochul asked for immediate federal funding, noting the need for constructing and operating temporary housing at Floyd Bennett Field and military bases.
Volunteer groups were preparing for an influx of migrants following the expiration of the Title 42 pandemic-era border restrictions.
According to federal projections, as many as 13,000 people were now expected per day to head north across the border, with many anticipated to find their way to New York.
“Basically we give them food, give them a little rundown of what to expect here or if they’re going to unite with family members in other places,” said Malu, adding three more busloads were expected on Sunday.
There were growing protests last week over Mayor Eric Adams’ plan to send migrants north to hotels in the Hudson Valley, with a new proposal panned Friday by critics.
Coney Island residents have also expressed their ire at a proposal to house migrants inside a local school gym.