Nearly a quarter of all migrants passing through a shelter in El Paso, Texas, want to go to New York City and not be forced onto buses against their will, according to the boss of the charity that runs it.
Blake Barrow, CEO of the El Paso Rescue Mission, released an open letter on Wednesday pleading with the Biden administration for help with the migrant crisis, which he says has overwhelmed his organization.
“We have all heard press releases about bus transporting migrants to different parts of the country. These are the facts as I have seen them: almost all migrants arrive with an idea of an ultimate destination,” Barrow wrote in the letter.
“About 20% of them want to go to New York. The city has chartered buses to New York to help those who desire that destination. I don’t know anyone who was put on a bus to New York who didn’t want to go there,” Barrow continued.
Mario D’Agostino, El Paso’s deputy health manager, confirmed that most migrants entering the US through Mexico want to go to New York.Read:McConnell on GOP migrant transports: ‘well-to-do blue enclaves’ finally facing border reality
“By far the vast majority of them have asked to go to New York City,” he told Fox News. “We’ve also had several large groups asking to go to Chicago.”
These statements appear to conflict with claims made by New York City Mayor Eric Adams that migrants were forced onto buses bound for the Big Apple even if they wanted to go elsewhere.
“Some families are on the bus who wanted to go to other locations, but that was not allowed. They were forced to board the bus,” Adams said in August. “Our goal is to immediately find out the needs of each family and provide them with the help they want.”
Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott has sent busloads of asylum seekers to New York and other Democratic strongholds to teach their leaders a lesson about the gravity of the border crisis.
According to the latest data, a record 13,000 migrants have arrived in New York City after crossing the southern border, overwhelming the already tense local reception system.Read:Legal Challenges to Student Loan Forgiveness Loom Before Midterms
In his open letter, Barrow appealed to officials in Washington, DC, for help, saying that the number of migrants pouring into El Paso — a city of 680,000 people right across the border from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico — is “so great that it is overwhelming is the housing and support services that the city can provide.”
Barrow said his shelter has received about 500 migrants – all from Venezuela and who need the most basic necessities of life, such as showers, clothing and food.
“Obviously we need a well-coordinated federal solution to this problem, but so far no one from Washington has asked our opinion,” the CEO wrote, adding that due to the influx of homeless people and hungry newcomers, his charity is serving more than twice as many meals as two weeks ago, putting pressure on the food budget.
“If there are hungry people in front of us, we will feed them and accommodate as many people as possible,” Barrow wrote.
Adams refused Tuesday to blame President Biden for the escalating migrant crisis, instead pointing the finger at GOP governors for bus transporting asylum seekers to the Big Apple as part of a “political stunt.”Read:Manchin releases proposed text on permitting reform amid bipartisan skepticism
Adams previously sued Abbott for transporting migrants from Texas to New York, but nevertheless agreed to receive more migrants sent by the mayor of El Paso, who is a fellow Democrat.
Adams also lashed out at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, another Republican, who caused controversy last week when he chartered two planes to fly more than 50 migrants to the wealthy, liberal enclave of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts.
So far, Border Patrol agents have reported more than 1.94 million encounters this fiscal year, which is more than the 1.73 million encounters in all of 2021 and just over 458,000 in 2020.