New York officials have accused Texas Gov. Greg Abbott of placing bar codes on the record amounts of migrants being bused into the Big Apple, calling the move an intimidation tactic amid a growing feud between the states over the asylum seekers.
The claims stem from video captured by city immigration workers at the Port Authority bus station Wednesday, that seemingly show migrants arriving in the early morning wearing wristbands that appear to be designed to keep track of them.
Upon arriving at the station at roughly 6:15 am, a total of 237 of the newcomers – including small children – were seen donning the wristbands, which each bore bar codes and were cut off by the immigration officials when they arrived.
Those migrants – who arrived to the city on five packed-to-the-brim busses – were also subjected to an additional, unseen security system, as tensions mount over how to handle the newcomers, who predominantly hail from Central and South America.
Earlier this month, Abbott began sending busloads of asylum seekers to New York City to call attention to the migrant crisis affecting his state – and to put pressure on Mayor Eric Adams, who previously said he would welcome them with open arms.
The policy has since severely taxed New York City services, as officials scramble to find housing, food, and clothing for the record number of arrivals, whom have been carted into the city like clockwork since August 5.
So far, more than 1,500 migrants have arrived in the city this week alone, with more than 400 coming on a total of nine busses arriving over the past two days. Four of those busses came on Thursday, the second day the barcodes were spotted.
Officials welcoming these refugees – whom many allege are being forced against their will to travel north by fed-up Texas lawmen – say the wristbands are a shrewd tactic the to scare them into remaining on these buses until they arrive in New York.
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New York officials have accused Texas Gov. Greg Abbott of placing bar codes on the record amounts of migrants being bused into the Big Apple, calling the move an intimidation tactic amid a growing feud between the states over the asylum seekers
The claims stem from video captured by city immigration workers at the city’s Port Authority bus station Wednesday, that show migrants arriving in the early morning wearing wristbands that appear to be designed to keep track of them
Abbot’s office, however, denies these claims, saying the barcode tags are ‘standard protocol,’ and help ensure that the state is only transporting migrants who have been processed and released by the federal government.
Last month Mayor Adams accused Abbott, 64, of flooding the city with migrants, a claim Abbott denied. The two politician’s war of words has since persisted, as dozens of busses continue to ferry the migrants north each day.
Photos captured at the Port Authority show the continue queue of arrivals Wednesday and Thursday, which saw more than 400 men, women, and children – all wearing bracelets – welcomed into The City That Never Sleeps by Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Miguel Castro.
Speaking to CBS affiliate WCBS Wednesday, the outlet who first reported of the barcoded bracelets, Castro expressed his disapproval of the practice, which he slammed as a crass intimidation tactic – and inhumane.
‘It appears to us that asylum seekers are being asked to wear these bracelets with these bar codes to intimidate them, to scare them into remaining on these buses until they arrive in New York City,’ Castro told the station.
‘Gov. Abbott is bar-coding people and treating them as less than human, as if they were cattle.’
Pictured are migrants exiting a bus at New York’s Port Authority early Thursday morning – one of four that arrived at the bus station at around 6 am. It was the second day migrants were spotted wearing the wristbands, which Texas officials insist is ‘standard protocol’
Pictured is one of four busses that arrived into Port Authority Thursday morning carrying the asylum seekers, who were apprehended at Texas border towns and carted up north as the state attempts to call attention to its migrant crisis
Photos captured at the Port Authority show the continue queue of arrivals Wednesday and Thursday, which saw more than 400 men, women, and children – all wearing bracelets – welcomed by Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Miguel Castro (pictured)
Castro said the bracelets were put on the foreigners in Texas and then cut off as they disembarked the bus, by security workers he said were hired by Abbott.
He added that he was fuming after watching the migrants leave the bus sporting the arm-wear, which were even put on young children, photos show.
‘I was incredibly shocked when I saw children with bracelets and bar codes and security personnel treating them as less than human beings,’ Castro said, adding that the maneuver by Abbot – a fierce opponent of immigration – is a clear example of intimidation.
‘We know that Gov. Abbott has been trying to dehumanize people, trying to foment anti-immigrant hatred, and while New York will continue to welcome asylum seekers, it’s also our moral responsibility to denounce this kind of behavior by Gov. Abbott,’ Castro said.
The arm-wear, which were ordered by the Texas state government, were even put on young children, photos show
Officials said the bracelets were put on the foreigners in Texas and then cut off as they disembarked the bus, by security workers he said were hired by Abbott
‘Gov. Abbott is bar-coding people and treating them as less than human, as if they were cattle,’ Castro said of the practice, which he first became aware of Wednesday
In total, more than 4,000 migrants have already arrived in the five boroughs in recent weeks, putting strain on the already overburdened shelter system, and spurring officials to put the travelers up in luxury hotels as they await permanent housing.
Mayors Adam and Muriel Bowser of D.C. – which has also been flooded with Texas migrants by Abbott after it also touted itself as a ‘sanctuary city’ are denouncing the program and calling for federal help with the issue, sparking a war with words with Abbott.
Earlier this month, Adams, 61, called for the Republican to be voted out of office in November’s upcoming midterms, accusing him of using the migrants ‘as political pawns to manufacture a crisis.’
Earlier this month, Abbott began sending busloads of asylum seekers to New York City to call attention to the migrant crisis affecting his state – and to put pressure on Mayor Eric Adams, who previously said he would welcome them with open arms
Adams, 61, had called for the Republican to be voted out of office in November’s upcoming midterms, accusing him of using the migrants ‘as political pawns to manufacture a crisis’
Abbott on Wednesday hit back at the Big Apple’s new mayor – who has grappled with crime in his city since assuming office in January – calling the former police captain a hypocrite for asking Texas cease sending busses.
‘Adams talked the talk about being a sanctuary city, welcoming illegal immigrants into the Big Apple with warm hospitality,’ Abbott wrote. ‘Talk is cheap.’
He went on to declare: ‘When pressed into fulfilling such ill-considered policies, he wants to condemn anyone who is pressing him to walk the walk.’
Later that day, Adams responded with his own quip through a spokesman, in which he labeled Abbott un-American.
More than 1,500 migrants have now been bussed to NYC from Texas, Governor Abbott’s office told DailyMail.com In total, more than 4,000 migrants have already arrived in the five boroughs in recent weeks, putting strain on the already overburdened shelter system
Busses packed to the brim with migrants were greeted by Castro Thursday as well, a day after Adams asserted that the city will continue to welcome the asylum seekers
The most recent group of migrants arrive from Texas via coach to Port Authority Bus Station Thursday, as police look on
‘Someone get this man a dictionary,’ Adam’s scathing statement began. ‘Hypocrisy is claiming you love America and then decrying the words on the Statue of Liberty.
He added that despite Abbott’s assertions, ‘New York City will continue to welcome asylum seekers with open arms.’
‘These individuals and families have been through hell, and they deserve more than being used as political pawns by a governor who cares about nothing more than re-election,’ Adams added.
Meanwhile, migrants arriving in New York City from the border will be housed temporarily on taxpayers dime at the $700-a-night luxury The Row in the tourist hotspot of Times Square in coming weeks.
While the migrants will be assigned to ring-fenced floors and told to use a separate entrance than tourists being charged top dollar to stay there, they will still enjoy the luxury of the hotel.
A total of five busses carrying 237 people arrived on Wednesday- making it the largest total arrival so far. A further estimated 200 arrived in four more buses on Thursday
Officials said they were fuming after watching the migrants leave the bus sporting the wristbands, which were even put on young children, and only removed once they disembarked the bus
Sources told DailyMail.com that up to four floors of the 28-story building will be given over to New York City’s Department of Homeless Services to use as temporary accommodation for families and individuals being bussed to ‘liberal cities’ from the borders by Texas and Arizona’s fed-up governors.
The Row, on 8th Avenue between 44th and 45th streets, is in the heart of Manhattan’s Broadway Theater District and boasts classic NYC views, a full fitness studio, a communal workspace equipped with Apple’s $2,000 iMac desktops and a lounge where ‘hand-stretched’ pizzas are $20.
Its bar menu boasts cocktails costing up to $19 each. A glass of champagne is $22. Room prices vary depending on the size – but the executive suite is $719 a night.
Staff at the hotel revealed the migrants would use a different entrance to tourists, possibly the trade entrance at the back, and be kept separate from other guests on floors allocated specifically for emergency accommodation. Security would likely be ramped up, too, they said.
Migrants arriving in NYC from the border will be housed temporarily in this luxury Manhattan hotel – the $700-a-night The Row in Times Square, but they’ll be assigned to ring-fenced floors and will be told to use a separate entrance to tourists being charged top dollar to stay there
Migrants housed at The Row, where rooms cost up to $719 a night, will have classic Manhattan skyline views from their bedroom windows. Some migrants who spoke to DailyMail.com on arrival said they were looking forward to seeing the sights
The staffers also said that while ‘nothing is set in stone,’ the staff ‘are all talking about it.’
It comes weeks after Adams issued a call to hotels step up to offer rooms to be used as temporary shelters. He initially announced that 1,000 rooms would be used as accommodation until shelter space or alternative arrangements could be made.
Adams is now expected to announce a deal for the city to rent an additional 5,000 hotel rooms city-wide in the coming weeks.
The cost of the deal has not been made public, despite repeated inquiries. Critics say it will cost millions of taxpayers’ money. A similar scheme to house the homeless in empty hotels during the pandemic cost $300 million in the city alone.