‘Give me your tired, your poor’: Mayor greets migrants arriving from Texas to Port Authority

Mayor Eric Adams spent his Sunday morning greeting migrants arriving from the Texas border to the Big Apple.

As the bus pulled in just after 7 a.m. on Aug. 7, Mayor Adams and his team were waiting at the Port Authority bus station. Children as young as 3 years old stepped off the vehicle with their parents, eyes wide with disorientation from the long, whirlwind trip. Adams endeavored to illustrate the difference between New York and Texas by welcoming the migrants and offering them what they didn’t find in the south: solace.

“I wanted to be here this morning to greet the buses and just let them know as they go through this transition by staying here in the city, going to locations where their families are waiting for them, we want to be supportive,” Adams said outside of Port Authority.

Migrants arrive at Port Authority bus terminal. Photo by Dean Moses
Mayor Eric Adams greets a family of migrants as they arrive from the Texas border. Photo by Dean Moses

This marked the second arrival to Port Authority after Friday saw a busload of about 50 migrants arrive from the Texas border. The rides were commissioned by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who in response to those crossing the border deemed New York City a “drop-off point” for individuals seeking asylum in the United States in what appears to be a large case of political clap-back. The Texas governor on Friday hurled verbal jabs at President Joe Biden for allowing what he called a border crisis — and at New York for being a safe haven.

“The 1st bus of migrants has arrived in NYC. Biden refuses to do his job, so Texas continues to take unprecedented action to secure our border. NYC is the ideal destination for these migrants. They can receive the services Mayor Adams has boasted about w/in the sanctuary city,” Abbott tweeted.

New York has a storied history of welcoming immigrants. The Statue of Liberty stands as a testament to that, with the inscription: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.”

With those words in mind,  immigrants from the Taxi Worker Alliance were on hand to help transport the new arrivals to shelter.

A family leaves Port Authority Bus Terminal. Photo by Dean Moses
A new arrival enters an awaiting yellow cab. Photo by Dean Moses

“America is the land of opportunity,” said a taxi driver named Muhammad. “New York might not be the place they want to live, they can move out if they want but we can create an opportunity for them.”

With the families safe, the mayor celebrated with the taxi drivers, but Adams also worried that there were fewer individuals to arrive than expected — leading him to speculate that some may have disembarked during the journey.

Adams also believes that the migrants may have been misled as to where exactly they were heading.

amNewYork asked Adams if this opens up an option to bring legal action against Abbott.

“That is something that the federal government is going to be looking at,” he said. “There is not much we can do in this city, our role here in this city is to provide shelter, education, food services, all of those services that are important. This is what we’ve always done, and this is what we’re going to continue to do.”

Mayor Adams with the Taxi Workers Alliance. Photo by Dean Moses

The ultimate goal, Adams said Sunday morning, is to provide those seeking shelter with exactly that until they can reunite with their families and/or seek their original destination.

“This is horrific when you think about what the governor is doing. The Governor of Texas, after months of traveling across the border, they place them on the bus with no direction to come here to New York. And New York is a city that has always represented the democratic values and the values of our city showing our compassion and that’s what we’re doing today,” the mayor added. “Many families that want to stay here we want to ensure that they can get proper shelter. But we’re finding that some of the families are on the bus that wanted to go to other locations, and they were not allowed to do so. They were forced on the bus with the understanding that they were going to other locations.”

Mayor Adams. Photo by Dean Moses