New York City Sues Charter Bus Companies Over Migrant Transfers

New York City Sues Charter Bus Companies Over Migrant Transfers

New York City has filed a lawsuit against more than a dozen charter bus companies involved in Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s initiative to transport migrants to urban areas. The city claims that these bus companies knowingly participated in Abbott’s busing plan, which violates a New York state law prohibiting the transfer of “needy persons” across state lines. Seeking over $700 million in damages, the lawsuit aims to cover the expenses of accommodating approximately 33,000 migrants who have arrived in the city since April 2022 via charter buses.

Mayor Eric Adams, a moderate Democrat, has been actively opposing the influx of migrants sent from Texas on a daily basis. Abbott, a Republican, has used this operation to draw attention to President Joe Biden’s border policy. In response, Adams issued an executive order specifying when buses could drop off passengers and requiring advance notice of their arrival. However, this prompted many bus companies to leave migrants in surrounding towns near New York City, causing frustration among local officials.

The recent lawsuit has caught some of the bus companies off guard, with Buckeye Coach LLC employee David Jones stating, “We don’t make policies; we are just a transportation company.” This highlights the bus companies’ perceived innocence in the matter. However, the Adams administration argues that legal protections granted to the state of Texas under sovereign immunity have prompted them to focus on the bus companies as an alternative avenue for seeking justice.

New York Law and the Lawsuit

The lawsuit is based on a provision in New York law that addresses the “bad faith” transfer of individuals across state lines. According to this law, individuals who knowingly bring a needy person from another state into New York for the purpose of making them a public charge are responsible for their expenses or must remove them from the state. By invoking this provision, New York City aims to hold the charter bus companies accountable for their involvement in the transfer of migrants.

Murad Awawdeh, the executive director of the Immigration Coalition, has criticized the lawsuit as a distraction from the larger issues facing the city in caring for newly arrived migrants. Awawdeh suggests that Mayor Adams is using the lawsuit to shift blame onto others rather than addressing the management challenges associated with the situation.

New York City’s lawsuit against charter bus companies involved in the transportation of migrants from Texas signals a significant legal battle. As the city seeks to recoup the cost of accommodating thousands of migrants, the lawsuit raises questions about the responsibility of bus companies in these transfers and their compliance with state laws. As the case unfolds, the outcome will have implications not only for this specific situation but also for the broader issue of migrant transfers across state lines.


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