New York City is funding bus trips for migrants to upstate New York within close proximity to the Canadian border.
Under Mayor Eric Adams, migrants are being transported from the city’s Port Authority Bus terminal to Plattsburgh – 20 miles from America’s northern border. New reports indicate Adams’ government is giving money to charities to facilitate the transportation program.
Taxi drivers are waiting at the Plattsburg drop-off to take migrants on the 30-minute drive into Canada, reports CBC.
Kate Smart, a spokeswoman for New York City, told the outlet that Adams made the decision “to help [these people] reach their final destination, even if it is not New York.”
“Our goal is to help asylum seekers who wish to move to another location,” said Smart. “A lot of people who got here by bus didn’t want or weren’t planning on going to New York, or didn’t want to stay here long-term.”
Quebec immigration minister Christine Fréchette told the media that the wave of migrants has been “surprising.”
Fréchette noted that the United States and Canada are currently discussing how to update the Safe Third Country Agreement. The Agreement, which took effect in 2004, allowed migrants to claim asylum in the first country they enter through an official border crossing.
“It is understood that this flaw allows the migrants arriving from New York to have their asylum cases heard by Canadian immigration authorities,” noted WIO News.
“We need to solve the problem of Roxham Road,” Fréchette said on Feb. 7, referring to an unofficial border crossing south of Montreal. “I think it makes the urgency of the situation even more apparent.”
Between January and August of 2022, 23,358 asylum-seekers were intercepted by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police at unofficial entry points.
“As we have said since the beginning of this crisis, our goal is [to help] connect asylum seekers who want to move to a different location with friends, family, and/or community and, if needed, re-ticket to help get people to their final destination, if not New York City,” Adams’ press secretary Fabien Levy told The New York Post.
A 23-year-old man who has been driving migrants across the border told The Post that an estimated 100 people arrive on the buses each day.
“I do this all day. They get dropped off and I take them the rest of the way.”
The Edmonton Sun’s Bian Lilley said the “driver’s claim that there must be 100 people a day…would be an understatement.”
“Over the last year, most months saw more than 100 people per day over average and in December, 4,689 people crossed into Canada illegally for a daily average of 151 per for the last month of 2022,” reported Lilley. “Now we have proof that New York City, under Adams, a Democrat, is paying bus fare for people to come to Canada.”
“Some want to go to Canada, some want to go to warmer states, and we are there for them as they continue to move on with their pursuit of this dream,” Adams said.