New York City officials claim that Texas officials are now tracking migrants that have illegally come across the U.S. Southern border.
For months, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has been sending busloads of illegal migrants to Washington D.C. and New York City — politically progressive enclaves — to bring attention to the border crisis affecting his state and pressure federal officials to take stronger action to secure the U.S border.
Footage recorded by New York officials, which was obtained by CBS New York, purportedly shows migrants arriving in the city on Aug. 24 wearing wristbands outfitted with barcodes, ostensibly to track them, according to the news outlet.
“Gov. Abbott is bar-coding people and treating them as less than human, as if they were cattle,” Manuel Castro, the city’s Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs told CBS. “I was incredibly shocked when I saw children with bracelets and bar codes and security personnel treating them as less than human beings.”
A spokesperson from the Texas Division of Emergency Management told CBS the bracelets are “standard protocol” to help ensure they are transporting individuals who have been processed and released by the federal government.
The video footage surfaced just one day after reports indicated that migrants are exiting buses before reaching Washington and New York, disembarking in Republican-led states.
“If Texas is going to put people on buses, they need to make sure that these individuals are going to their destinations,” said Georgia state Rep. Mike Cameron, a Republican who protested bus stops in Dade County, Georgia. “I understand Texas’ problem, but don’t just put people on a bus and let them get off anywhere. That’s not a solution.”
State officials are not legally able to prevent migrants from getting off buses before they reach their target destination. Castro told CBS he believes that asylum seekers are now “being asked to wear these bracelets with these bar codes to intimidate them, to scare them into remaining on these buses until they arrive in New York City.”
Americans have witnessed a crescendo in the feud between Abbott and New York officials, with New York City Mayor Eric Adams threatening to take “a bus load of New Yorkers to go to Texas and do some good old fashioned door knocking,” alluding to a grassroots campaign to try and remove Abbott from office.