(CNN) – Texas carried nearly 9,000 passengers Asylum seekers to New York City And Washington in recent months is part of Gov. Greg Abbott’s effort to highlight his criticism of the Joe Biden administration’s immigration policies.
In a statement Friday, Abbott’s office said it has bused more than 7,400 immigrants to Washington since April and more than 1,500 immigrants to New York City since Aug. 5.
“The busing mission provides much-needed relief to our overstretched border communities,” the statement said. “Operation Lone Star continues to fill dangerous gaps left by the Biden administration’s refusal to secure the border.”
Abbott, a staunch critic of the Biden administration’s immigration policies, began sending hundreds of willing immigrants to Washington earlier this year in an embarrassment to the administration. Abbott’s office said, “To board a bus or plane, an immigrant must voluntarily carry and show documentation from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).”
New York City has seen a record number of immigrants this week, and buses are expected, a spokeswoman for the mayor’s office of immigration told CNN on Saturday.
Mayor Eric Adams and other city officials have previously blamed the Abbott administration Forcing asylum seekers to board buses bound for New York City And the municipality did not consolidate officers and transfer personnel. Earlier this month, city officials said intake centers were already overflowing with more than 4,000 people from an outbreak that began in May.
“It’s unimaginable. You come to a country, and on your first visit here, somebody kicks you out, like the governor of Texas is doing, trying to go into this complicated country to offer your services,” Adams said at an event. An unrelated press release earlier this month.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told CNN on Thursday that Abbott’s efforts to bus migrants to Washington and New York were “outside the control” of the federal immigration processing agency and criticized the governor for failing to coordinate with federal officials.
Mayorkas said it was “problematic” that an official like Abbott could act “unilaterally”.
“The lack of that coordination creates problems with our very efficient processing, which makes DHS’s job more difficult,” Mayorkas told CNN in Eagle Pass while at the US-Mexico border on Thursday.
Mayorgas criticized Abbott for not working with target cities.
“These cities have some potential,” he said. “They have the infrastructure to meet the needs of the migrants, and they have to calibrate the movement of people according to their capacity and their performance. And that’s not being done.”
Mayorkas said his department reached out to Abbott to seek better coordination, but Abbott did not respond.
CNN’s Rosa Flores, Rosalina Nieves and Ashley Gillow contributed to this report.
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