Greg Abbott
Texas Governor Greg Abbott Reuters

Texas Governor Greg Abbott and New York City Mayor Eric Adams traded criticism over the other's handling of migrant arrivals, as both officials are among the most high-profile faces of the issue that is dominating the national conversation at the moment.

The episode took place in the context of a visit by Abbott to New York City, where he took part in a Republican gala on Thursday night. There, he recounted how he decided to start bussing migrants there.

"We were sending them only to Washington, D.C., and quite literally out of nowhere, Mayor Adams starts criticizing me for sending them to New York City," Abbott said. "So after a while, I figured, gosh, if I'm gonna get the criticism, I'm gonna get the credit."

Texas officials said in March that, according to their latest figures, more than 105,000 migrants have been sent to different cities up north since 2022. Almost 40,000 of them ended in New York City, whose authorities say that overall they have received more than 180,000 asylum-seekers over that period. Chicago and Denver are other cities that have received a significant influx of migrants.

Adams, in turn, said: "I'm going to offer him a stay in one of the [Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers], 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."

NYC Mayor Eric Adams
NYC Mayor Eric Adams AFP

And he was not the only one conveying discontent with Abbott. Outside the Hilton Hotel, where the Republican event was taking place, dozens of people gathered to protest, CBS News reported.

"We are protesting the entire GOP," said Luba Cortes, with Make the Road NY. "Communities are gonna stand together to continue to say that immigrants are not political pawns."

As NYC struggles to deal with the incessant flow of people reaching the city, Adams made different trips to the border to discourage migration, saying authorities didn't have enough funds to do so. He also flew to Mexico, Ecuador and Colombia last year to meet with local authorities and plead to migrants to stop making the often-dangerous journey to the U.S.

In this context, Adams has also asked the federal government to implement a "decompression strategy" which would distribute migrants across the country rather than seeing most of them in certain cities.

"Cities should not be handling a national crisis of this magnitude," said Adams. "We're going to start seeing the visualization of this crisis. We've done a great job, but we can't continue to sustain this."

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