NATIONAL NEWS

New York City is suing charter bus companies for transporting migrants from Texas

Jan 4, 2024, 1:19 PM | Updated: 3:12 pm

New York (AP) — New York City is suing more than a dozen charter bus companies for $700 million, accusing them of illegally transporting tens of thousands of migrants from the southern border to the city under the direction of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

The lawsuit accuses 17 bus companies of participating in a “bad faith” relocation plan that violates state restrictions on abandoning “needy persons” in New York. It seeks financial damages to cover the cost of caring for an estimated 33,000 migrants that have arrived in the city on charter buses since the spring of 2022.

Filed in state court Thursday, the lawsuit marked the latest effort by a Democratic mayor to turn back busloads of asylum seekers sent by the Republican governor of Texas. The state has sent more than 95,000 migrants to so-called sanctuary cities, including New York, Chicago and Denver, in protest of President Joe Biden’s immigration policies, Abbott said last month.

Amid an increase in bus drop-offs, both New York City and Chicago announced new restrictions in recent weeks mandating the charter companies to provide advanced notice of their arrivals. Within days, many of the buses began leaving migrants in suburbs surrounding each city without prior notice, drawing anger from local officials.

On Thursday, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a moderate Democrat, said the city would no longer “bear the costs of reckless political ploys from the state of Texas alone,” adding the lawsuit should “serve as a warning to all those who break the law in this way.”

Some of the bus companies appeared caught off guard by the suit. “We don’t make policies,” said David Jones, an employee at Buckeye Coach LLC, one of the charter companies named in the lawsuit. “We are just a transportation company.”

Representatives for the other charter companies – most of which are based in Texas – either declined to comment or did not respond to inquiries.

The recent focus on the private charter companies, the Adams administration said, was driven in part by legal protections afforded to the state of Texas under a doctrine known as sovereign immunity.

The lawsuit rests on a provision of state law that bars knowingly transferring “a needy person from out of state into this state for the purpose of making him a public charge.”

It cites a report finding that for the trips, the charter bus companies receive roughly $1,650 per person – far higher than the cost of a standard one-way bus ticket – as a testament to the companies’ “bad faith” involvement in the scheme.

In a statement, Gov. Abbott said the suit was a clear violation of the commerce clause, which guarantees the constitutional right to travel.

“Every migrant bused or flown to New York City did so voluntarily, after having been authorized by the Biden Administration to remain in the United States,” Abbott said. “As such, they have constitutional authority to travel across the country that Mayor Adams is interfering with.”

Murad Awawdeh, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, described the legal action as a distraction from the larger issues facing New York, arguing Mayor Adams should be focused on helping migrants get on their feet.

“This lawsuit is one more way for the mayor to scapegoat someone else for his lack of management of the situation,” Awawdeh said. “He needs to stop taking pages out of Governor Abbott’s playbook and step up and lead the city of New York.”

_____

Associated Press reporter David Collins contributed.

National News

Juanita Beach Kirkland...

Kathy McCormack and Nick Perry, The Associated Press

‘Tis the season for swimming and bacteria alerts in lakes, rivers

With summer about to start, many people flocking to their favorite swimming holes may also want to read up on bacteria warnings.

6 hours ago

Associated Press

Couple rescued from desert near California’s Joshua Tree National Park after running out of water

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — A couple hiking in the desert south of Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California was rescued after running out of water, authorities said. On Sunday, the man called 911 and reported that his girlfriend was dehydrated and weak, according to a statement from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office posted Monday […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

Crews rescue 28 people trapped upside down high on Oregon amusement park ride

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Emergency crews in Oregon rescued 28 people Friday after they were stuck for about half an hour dangling upside down high on a ride at a century-old amusement park. Portland Fire and Rescue said on the social platform X that firefighters worked with engineers at Oaks Park to manually lower the […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

Independent report criticizes Cuomo’s ‘top-down’ management of New York’s COVID-19 response

NEW YORK (AP) — An investigation into New York’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic found former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “top down” approach of dictating public health policy through his office, rather than coordinating with state and local agencies, sewed confusion during the crisis. In the state’s nursing homes, where some 15,000 people died, the administration’s […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

Judge dismisses lawsuit challenging federal rules to accommodate abortions for workers

CHICAGO (AP) — A lawsuit filed by 17 states challenging federal rules entitling workers to time off and other accommodations for abortions lacks standing, a federal judge in Arkansas ruled on Friday. Republican attorneys general from each state, led by Arkansas and Tennessee, sued the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in April, days after the agency […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

Guest lineups for the Sunday news shows

WASHINGTON (AP) — ABC’s “This Week” — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen; Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C. ___ NBC’s “Meet the Press” — Reps. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., and Ro Khanna, D-Calif. ___ CBS’ “Face the Nation” — Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio; Microsoft founder Bill Gates; Neel Kashkari, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. ___ CNN’s […]

9 hours ago

New York City is suing charter bus companies for transporting migrants from Texas