Six buses from Texas packed with migrants arrived at the Port Authority on Saturday, as the city’s shelter system neared its breaking point.
Men, women and children on buses in El Paso flocked to the bus terminal, with many saying they had come from Venezuela.
“We stopped for food, but many people did not have money to buy food. I am very hungry,” said 35-year-old Gustavo Pacheco, who waited for New Jersey relatives to pick him up.
Pacheco was wearing an American flag T-shirt that read “Land of the Free, Home of the Brave” and broken plastic sandals, his swollen feet covered with bug bites. He said it took a month to get from Venezuela to the US border and then took a two-day bus ride to the Big Apple.
Jan Romero, 35, also from Venezuela, said relatives in New York were coming to pick him up. After crossing a river for three days, he took off his shoes to show how severed his feet were.
“I’m excited about all the opportunities here,” Romero said. “I plan to work. I’m a really good car mechanic.”
Another refugee said he does not have a family in New York and does not know why he is here.
A young boy wearing an oversized backpack got off the bus with a big smile on his face and shook hands at the reporters.
Power Maul, along with the non-profit artist athlete activist, got the boy off the bus and greeted other migrants. He said he wanted to tell everyone that he was welcome in the Big Apple but accepted the challenges.
“We know we have a huge homelessness problem here in New York City. Hopefully, this will shed light on an already broken shelter system,” Maul said.
A man surrounded the migrants shouting, “There are many people who need help, who sleep on the streets. We don’t need any more people here. Help the people who are here in the street in New York.”
The police officers immediately removed him from there.
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Some of the new arrivals were housed at an MTA bushhead for a shelter in the Bronx.
The migrants have been taken to New York by officials from El Paso — under further clear agreement between its Democratic mayor and NYC Mayor Adams — and GOP Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, whom Adams has criticized. An estimated 8,000 migrants have arrived in the Big Apple in recent weeks.
The El Paso City-County Office of Emergency Management has been sending charter buses here since August 23. According to a report, more than 1,000 migrants have flooded El Paso since the nonprofit’s shelters in the area were filled earlier this month.
El Paso City Council signed a $2 million contract with a charter bus company on Monday to help expel migrants faster, El Paso Matters reported.