(NewsNation) — Every day, at least 100 migrants arrive at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City, as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott keeps sending them there in protest of President Joe Biden’s immigration policy.
Upon their arrival, these migrants face hurdles keeping them from completing complex processes that allow them access to housing and immigration services.
Migrants are processed once they get to New York City. From there, they undergo medical evaluations and eventually leave in taxis or Ubers to either city shelters or designated hotels.
New York City has secured 6,000 rooms at 11 different hotels across the city to house migrants, some seeking asylum, and the Department of Social Services has filed an emergency declaration asking for 5,000 more rooms.
Officials say the city’s shelter system is overwhelmed. So far, more than 4,000 migrants have arrived in the city, and more are on the way.
“New York City is here to help,” Manuel Castro, commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, said. “Those who want to stay, those who are arriving here, we’re welcoming them.”
Advocates such as Catholic Charities, however, say federal border officials are putting addresses of random nonprofits on court notices for asylum seekers, so they don’t receive them, putting these migrants at risk of deportation.
“How these addresses came to be included in the documents is yet to be fully determined,” Castro said.
Asylum seekers have 10 days to gather their required paperwork, such as proof of identification, which they need to qualify for a municipal ID that would allow them to look for permanent housing and jobs.
Without it, they will remain in the city’s shelter system.
In the meantime, New York City is providing migrants with legal aid, educational placement for the children and workforce assistance for the adults.
The city has also hired more bilingual intake agents and is asking the federal government for more money to help process asylum seekers.
Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, the executive director of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, said his organization has seen more than 1,500 individuals in the past six weeks.
“What we do is we greet them with respect, assure them that they are safe,secure, because they fled horrendous conditions in their own country,” he said. “Our workers are just incredibly dedicated. They’re on the front lines. They’re listening to these heart-wrenching stories of the persecution, the violence, the struggles that these individuals have faced.”
When Catholic Charities workers see the migrants, they provide them with a little bit of food and some clothes. Then, they review their legal documents.
In the past 10 or 20 years, Sullivan said, there has been a steady stream of people coming to New York from Central and South America for safety and security. Recently, he said, there have been many coming from Venezuela.
Abbott started sending migrants to Washington, D.C. and New York City in April, two sanctuary cities led by Democrats.
“Mayor Adams said they welcome in illegal immigrants, and now once they have to deal with the reality of it, they’re flustered and can’t handle it,” Abbott said on Fox News.
Some have criticized Abbott’s actions as political theater, while others like Castro said what he’s doing is inhumane.
“Continuing to play with the lives of people is just pure cruel cowardice and disgusting,” Castro has previously said. “These people didn’t know that they were coming to New York. They were lied to and they are confused.”
However, NewsNation’s Leland Vittert, host of “On Balance,” said migrants have been coming to the East Coast for “quite some time.”
“We were down on the border back in September and saw buses and planes taking people to both of these cities,” he said.
Vittert argues that the only reason people are paying attention to migrants coming to New York now is because Abbott is the one sending them.
“It’s purely a manufactured political issue,” he said. “It appears as though Greg Abbott is just fine to make it a manufactured political issue, and the flip side is, as you can see, (New York City Mayor) Eric Adams is more than happy to enjoy the spotlight.”