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Texas Gov. Abbott travels to sanctuary city to say he won’t stop bussing in illegal immigrants

Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott vowed to continue bussing migrants to sanctuary cities "until we get a new president" during a Thursday evening GOP gala in New York City.

Texas will continue to bus illegal immigrants pouring across its border to sanctuary cities "until we get a new president," Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told a Manhattan crowd on Thursday – just hours after New York City Mayor Eric Adams criticized the Republican's handling of the crisis and offered him a free stay at one of the Big Apple's migrant shelters.

Abbott's comments came during his keynote address at the New York Republican Party’s annual gala, at which the Lone Star State governor and other high-profile Republicans took aim at Adams and the Biden administration due to the continuing influx of illegal immigrants entering the U.S.

"The complaining by Mayor Adams is nothing short [of] stunning," Abbott told those at the event, which was held just a few blocks away from a hotel that Adams' administration transformed into an intake center for migrants. "What he has is a tiny fraction of what Texas gets every day."


Abbott, explaining why he began bussing illegal immigrants who arrived in Texas to sanctuary cities around the nation, said he had decided to do so after several local officials in his state had expressed concern about the number of migrants being dropped off by federal authorities in their communities.

Initially, Abbott said he planned to bus the migrants only to Washington, D.C., because "neither Joe Biden nor the border czar [Vice President Kamala Harris] had actually been to the border to see the chaos and cost."

"My thought process was, if they’re not going to come to the border, we’re going to take the border to them," he said.

Abbott said he then decided to bus migrants to New York City after Adams criticized the governor's handling of the issue.

"Quite literally out of nowhere, Eric Adams starts criticizing me for sending them to New York City," Abbott said. "We made clear, by contacting his office, and said, ‘We’re not sending them to New York.’ We issued press releases to the press saying we’re not sending migrants to New York – that’s Joe Biden sending them to New York."

But when Empire State officials refused to back off their claims, Abbott said he decided to turn rhetoric into reality.

"If I’m going to get the criticism, I want to get the credit," he told the gala attendees. "And thus began the busing of illegal immigrants to the sanctuary city of New York City."

Roughly 180,000 illegal immigrants have arrived in New York City since 2022, overwhelming city resources as officials struggle to find housing for them. It's estimated that at least 107,000 have been bussed in from Texas.

"We are going to have to maintain this process until we get a new president next November who will secure the border of the United States of America," Abbott said.

Bearing down on President Biden, Abbott said the administration's policy decisions have led to "chaos" and created an "extraordinarily dangerous" situation in his state.


"Texas is ground zero for the broken border policy imposed by Joe Biden," he said. "You know, the chaos that we’ve seen across the entire country — it seems like it’s been going on for so long that we can so easily forget that it was just four years ago that we had the lowest illegal border crossings in 45 years."

Abbott praised the actions taken by former President Donald Trump to curb illegal immigration – actions that were then undone by Biden's team.

"All-time records have been set with regard to the number of people on the terrorist watch lists who’ve been apprehended," he said. "What none of us know right now is how many terrorists on the watch list evaded detection."

Abbott also spoke about Biden's claim that he needs Congress to step in and mitigate the issue of illegal immigration, with the governor accusing the president either of "lying" or having "no idea what he’s talking about."

"The executive branch has not only the authority but the requirement, the mandate by Congress, to deny illegal entry into the United States," Abbott said. "Biden is not doing that. He’s aiding and abetting illegal entry into the United States."

House GOP Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., and Republican National Committee Chair Michael Whatley were among the many prominent Republicans who also attended the event.

"Joe Biden has turned every state into a border state," Stefanik said Thursday evening. "President Trump and Republicans will run, and we will win, on securing our border, once and for all."

Prior to Abbott's arrival in the Big Apple, Adams slammed the Texas Republican for his handling of the migrant crisis and facetiously offered him a complimentary stay at a migrant shelter during his trip to the city.

"I'm going to offer him a stay in one of the HERRCs, so he can see what he has created and understand how we are treating people with the dignity and respect that he should have shown as well," Adams said at a press conference on Thursday, referring to the humanitarian emergency response and relief centers that have served as temporary housing facilities for migrants who arrive in the city.

Adams also appeared to brag about the city's handling of the migrants who have arrived there during the last two years.

"I'm not quite sure why he's here and what he's doing while here, but he's going to see how you can manage the crisis with the coordination of not one child of families sleeping on the streets of the city of New York," he said of Abbott. "When we coordinate together, we should not displace problems to local municipalities. That is not what executives do. It is unfortunate that he made the decision to do that."

Abbott said during a Thursday night appearance on Fox News Channel's "Hannity" that Adams' offer to let him sleep at a migrant shelter is "nothing more than a gimmick."

New York City's government has projected that it will spend at least $10.6 billion on migrants by summer 2025.

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