Migrants tire of the hustle and bustle of New York City and head for Canada on buses paid for with taxpayers’ money.
As migrants arrive in NYC, National Guard soldiers are stationed at the Port Authority bus terminal to hand out free tickets for shuttles heading north to the Canadian border.
City Hall sources said the move was part of a “re-ticketing” plan to help migrants make their way to Canada, according to The New York Post, where President Justin Trudeau has been outspoken about building a refuge for people in need.
Some migrants who accepted their offer told The mail they were heading to Canada because they believed it would be more welcoming to them and offer better opportunities than the United States.
The news comes as a large group of migrants were publicly evicted from a posh downtown hotel in which they were housed, and Mayor Eric Adams has been desperately trying to convince the city’s shelters to be a safe and welcoming option.
Migrants camped outside the Watson Hotel in Midtown Manhattan after being kicked out
New York City Mayor Eric Adams has been desperately trying to solve the city’s migrant crisis
NYC City Hall has paid a number of organizations to help with their re-ticketing program, according to The Post.
One such organization was Catholic Charities Community Services, which said it had helped “thousands of new migrants” move out of NYC.
A spokesman for Catholic Charities said some of those migrants “expressed a desire to move to other cities, and Catholic Charities offered some assistance for their travel expenses.”
One of the migrants participating in the re-ticket plan was Raymond Peña, a Venezuelan who left New York early Sunday morning.
“The army gave me and my family free bus tickets,” he told The Post. “I’m going to Canada for a better quality of life for my family.”
Those buses run as far north as Plattsburgh – just before the Canadian border – where local vans and taxis take them the rest of the way and drop them off where Canadian police can collect them.
“There must be 100 people a day,” driver Tyler Tambini, 23, told The Post. ‘I do this all day. They’ll be dropped off and I’ll take them the rest of the way.’
The service Tambini runs for costs up to $50 to transport individuals and families for $90.
Migrants are dropped from the Canadian border, where they cross the border and are apprehended by Canadian police.
Migrants camped outside the Watson Hotel in Manhattan. They are forced to move to temporary housing
Migrants gather outside the Watson Hotel in Manhattan against the winter cold on Feb. 1
City Hall representatives did not comment on how much the re-ticketing program costs, saying instead it was just part of the long-standing plan for migrants.
“As we have said since the beginning of this crisis, our goal is to connect asylum seekers who wish to move to another location with friends, family and/or community and, if necessary, provide a new ticket to allow people to move to another location. get to their destination. final destination, if not New York City,” a spokesman said, according to The Post.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s office confirmed that the National Guard had been deployed to the Port Authority, but did not say where the money for re-ticketing came from.
“At the request of the city, members of the National Guard have been deployed to the Port Authority bus terminal, where they greet people upon arrival, answer questions and direct them to services, including transportation options they are seeking,” a spokesman said.
Migrants rest in front of a makeshift tent on the sidewalk in front of the Watson Hotel in Manhattan
At a migrant housing center in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Migrants complain that the reception centers are unsafe
Migrants outside the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, which is used as a temporary shelter
Numerous migrants who traveled to Canada reported feeling disgusted by the conditions they faced in NYC, where they felt threatened by the homeless and drug users.
“I wanted to live in New York because I thought it would be a better future for my daughters,” says 33-year-old Peruvian Susy Sanchez Solzarno, who was traveling with her family. “But as the days went by, I saw insecurity, a lot of homeless people, a lot of people shouting and being disrespectful, and a lot of people on drugs.”
“I’m going to Canada for the safety and future of my girls,” she told The Post. “I only ask God that everything goes well and that Canada is not like the United States.”
Manuel Rodon, a 26-year-old from Venezuela, said he was evicted from the Times Square hotel where he was initially housed and sent to a shelter where he felt unsafe.
“A lot of Americans were doing drugs there,” Rodon said. “I have a feeling Canada will be safer. It’s a much quieter country than America.’
He said he knew eight other Venezuelans who had all successfully migrated to Canada.
They also all got free tickets. It was the same process,” he said. “It took them three days through customs. They are all safe. They live in Montreal.’
He and others said they learned through social media how easy it is to migrate to Canada.
“It’s very hard to get papers in America,” Rodon said. “I have to work, so I’m going to Canada.”
Canadian President Justin Trudeau has been outspoken about accepting migrants
Venezuelans board a bus to the Migrant Housing Center at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal
Adams was optimistic about seeking federal help with the city’s migrant crisis.
Washington has approved $800 million in spending to help the crisis, but it will go to several cities across the country.
Even if it all went to New York, the city itself would still spend more money to help the migrants, according to ABC7.
However, Adams boasted on Sunday that the migrants will live in better conditions than in other cities.
“People sleep on the street in El Paso,” Adams said at the rally. “Sleeping there at airports. I talked to my colleague in Chicago, people sleep in the basements of libraries. No family sleeps in our streets.’
He added that there are no plans for the city to stop accepting migrants, but they will need additional preparation if the Supreme Court upholds Title 42 – the pandemic rule that makes it more difficult to seek asylum in the US – expire.
Migrants ride a bus to the housing center set up at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal
A busload of migrants arrives at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal on Feb. 2
Activists are not happy with the constant movements and say it is not an adequate solution.
“Now they’re moving into a building that’s not designed for living in, where the city has to prepare for people to sleep in, and only for a short period of time,” Josh Goldfein of the Legal Aid Society said.
“We’re going to invest a lot of resources to get this building ready to dismantle it again, I think when cruise ships come in again.”
The location is also isolated and far from access to medical care and opportunities to work.
“The city currently has tens of thousands of New Yorkers in shelter who were there before the migrants started arriving and could leave if they had some help,” Goldfein added.
Despite his proclamations, Adams previously made headlines by saying “there’s no more room” after previously stating that the city would always welcome migrants.
Migrant buses have been arriving in New York since the fall, when Republican governors, primarily Texas governor Greg Abbott and Florida governor Ron DeSantis, began sending asylum seekers from the border to largely Democratic-leaning cities.
WHAT IS TITLE 42?
Title 42 border restrictions are a public health order that allowed US authorities to return most migrants, including those seeking asylum from persecution.
They were introduced during the pandemic and are currently expiring on Wednesday, after several extensions.
But the number of migrants now attempting to cross the US-Mexico border is at its highest level in two decades — with even greater numbers expected to arrive once the pandemic-era order is lifted.
Many of those were repeat crossers because Title 42 has no legal or criminal ramifications.
Title 42 authority has been applied unevenly between nationalities.
Mexico has agreed to take back migrants from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Mexico – and limited numbers from Cuba and Nicaragua. High costs, strained diplomatic relations and other considerations have made it more difficult to remove migrants from other countries who must be flown home.
Title 42 is one of the two most important surviving Trump-era policies to deter asylum at the border.
The little-used public health order that gives border authorities the ability to quickly deport nearly anyone found along the southwestern border.
In April, the US Supreme Court heard arguments over whether the government should be able to force asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for hearings in the US immigration court. That case went before another Trump-appointed judge in Amarillo, Texas.