Nearly a quarter of all migrants passing through an El Paso, Texas, shelter want to go to New York City and are not being forced onto buses against their will, according to the boss of the charity that runs it.
Blake Barrow, CEO of the El Paso Rescue Mission, published an open letter on Wednesday, begging the Biden administration for help with the migrant crisis, which he says has overwhelmed his organization.
“We have all heard press reports about bussing migrants to different parts of the country. Here are the facts as I have seen them: Almost all of the migrants arrive with an idea of an ultimate destination,” Blake Barrow, CEO of the Rescue Mission of El Paso, wrote in an open letter published on Wednesday.
“About 20% of them want to go to New York. The city has been chartering busses to New York to assist those desiring that destination. I am not aware of anyone being placed on a bus to New York who did not want to go there,” Barrow continued.
Mario D’Agostino, El Paso’s deputy health manager, confirmed that most of the migrants entering the US through Mexico want to go to New York.
“By far, the vast majority of them have requested to go to New York City,” he told Fox News. “We’ve also had several large groups that are asking to go to Chicago.”
These statements appear to run counter to New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ claims that migrants were being forced onto buses headed for the Big Apple, even if they wanted to go elsewhere.
“Some of the families are on the bus that wanted to go to other locations, and they were not allowed to do so. They were forced on the bus,” Adams said in August. “Our goal is to immediately find out each family’s needs and give them the assistance they want.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, has been sending busloads of asylum seekers to New York and other Democratic strongholds to teach their leaders a lesson about the severity of the border crisis.
According to the latest data, a record 13,000 migrants have arrived in New York City after crossing the southern border, overwhelming the already-strained local shelter system.
In his open letter, Barrow, of the Rescue Mission of El Paso, appealed to officials in Washington DC for help, saying that the number of migrants flooding into El Paso — a city of 680,000 located directly across the border from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico — is “so large that it is overwhelming the housing and support services that the city is able to offer.”
Barrow said that his shelter has received about 500 migrants — all of them from Venezuela and in need of the most basic necessities, such as showers, clothes and food.
“Obviously, we need a well-coordinated, federal solution to this problem, but, so far, no one from Washington has asked our opinions,” the CEO wrote, adding that due to the influx of homeless and hungry newcomers, his charity is now serving more than twice as many meals as it was two weeks ago, which is straining its food budget.
“When we have hungry people standing in front of us, we are going to feed them, and we are going to offer shelter space to as many people as we can,” Barrow wrote.
Mayor Adams on Tuesday refused to place any blame on President Biden for the escalating migrant crisis, and instead pointed a finger at GOP governors for busing asylum seekers to the Big Apple as part of a “political stunt.”
Adams previously railed against Gov. Abbott for shipping off migrants from Texas to New York, but despite that he agreed to receive more migrants sent by the mayor of El Paso, who’s a fellow Democrat.
Adams also lashed out at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, who ignited a controversy last week when he chartered two planes to fly more than 50 migrants to the wealthy, liberal Massachusetts enclave of Martha’s Vineyard.
So far this fiscal year, Border Patrol agents have reported more than 1.94 million encounters, which is up from the 1.73 million encounters in all of 2021 and just over 458,000 in 2020.