Early on the morning of Aug. 10, I stood with dozens of New Yorkers at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City, welcoming the 100 or so people who arrived on three buses that day. I was part of a group coordinated by the mayor’s office, but dozens more New Yorkers had come on their own to witness and offer assistance. Since then, the New York City has shown how to greet those who arrive at our borders with compassion and dignity by investing in shelters, community-based support and legal services for newcomers. New York City recently opened a welcome center to centralize all resources, with more locations planned soon.
This is a far cry from the politics of fear used by the governors paying to send migrants far away. But it’s a fraction of what could be done with proper federal resources.
For the last few months, governors from Texas and Arizona have sought to score political points by busing asylum seekers around the country, first to Washington, D.C. and then New York City. What started as a blatant political stunt — buses full of women, men and children frequently with just the clothes on their backs and accompanied by armed guards — reached new lows when Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) apparently duped migrants into getting on a plane to Martha’s Vineyard. Those on board uniformly reported having been lured by false promises of jobs and shelters, and believed they were going to either New York City or Boston.