The authorities of Texas have imposed a confidentiality agreement on bus companies that transport undocumented immigrants to New York so as not to reveal the details of these trips, according to what the New York Immigrant Affairs Commissioner, Manuel Castro, said on Tuesday.
“We learned that the bus company that they have worked with there has a confidentiality agreement that does not allow them to communicate with the city of New York,” Castro said during a hearing today in the City Council on the conditions in the city’s shelters and the recent increase in immigrants in New York seeking asylum.
He explained that they have learned about it through their allies in community organizations.
Castro reiterated that the Government of Texas “is not cooperating” with the one from New York, to which it does not inform about the transfer of immigrants, and indicated that today a new group arrived and that tomorrow two other buses will arrive, which they have learned indirectly.
More than 4,000 immigrants are registered with the city’s shelter system where they have been arriving for a few months, via Washington DC, after Texas also sent buses with undocumented immigrants there.
Last Friday the first direct bus arrived in New York with fifty Latino immigrants, and on Sunday the city received another group that will be joined by those who will arrive tomorrow, said Castro, who reiterated criticism of the Texas governor, the Republican Gregg Abbott, whom he accused of playing politics with these people.
Castro, the first official of Mexican origin to lead the Office of Immigrant Affairs, participated in the hearing together with the commissioner of the Department of Social Services, Gary Jenkins, with whom he explained to the council members the efforts being made to accommodate these immigrants and of the services offered.
This unprecedented flow has affected the system so last week the mayor issued an emergency declaration that will allow service providers and shelters for immigrants to be hired quickly.
Castro recalled that the arrival of immigrants is not something new for this city. “What is new is the systematic diversion of asylum seekers and other immigrants to New York by outside forces, including the disgusting, cruel and cowardly actions of the Governor of Texas”he claimed.
He reiterated that Abbott “he is using human beings as political pawns” And that’s why he criticized him.
“Certainly, we would love to have more coordination and know exactly how many people will arrive to provide the services they need, Castro also pointed out, who said that he is in constant communication with Jenkins for any problems that may arise from this population that “is coming with lot of needs.”
“New Yorkers will not be scared or intimidated and we are showing how asylum seekers should be welcomed in our country,” said Castro, who recognized the work of the national organization “Grandmothers Respond” that has been receiving immigrants at the Port Authority in New York, as well as the services provided by the NGO Catholic Charities.
“The moment is difficult even for the volunteers” due to the massive arrival, he commented while Jenkins pointed out that the rate of free places in the shelters is only one percent, so they will resort to hotels to accommodate the newcomers.
Jenkins assured council members that they will not leave “stone left unturned to support the unprecedented number of asylum seekers arriving each day” and thus fulfill the city’s mandate to provide housing.