Texas Governor Greg Abbott blasted New York City Mayor Eric Adams after the city filed a $708 million lawsuit against the charter bus companies transporting migrants from Texas to New York, saying the lawsuit violated the Commerce Clause and suggesting the mayor should sue the Biden administration.
The lawsuit, filed on January 4, accuses 17 charter bus companies hired by Texas of taking part in a “bad faith” plan to violate a New York law against the abandonment of “needy persons.” The suit is seeking $708 million in compensation for the costs the city has spent to house, feed, and provide healthcare to the estimated 33,000 migrants sent to New York since the spring of 2022.
Mayor Eric Adams defended the lawsuit, arguing that New York City shouldn’t have to solely cover the cost of the Texas governor’s “reckless political ploys.” Adams said the lawsuit would serve “as a warning to all those who break the law this way,” the Associated Press reported.
The mayor’s office has turned its focus on penalizing the bus companies since it is unable to target the state of Texas due to the legal protection known as “sovereign immunity.”
As proof that the charter companies were acting in “bad faith,” the lawsuit cites a November report in Axios that found the bus companies were being paid roughly $1,650 for each person transported from Texas to New York, a price that is much higher than the cost of a one-way bus ticket.
In response, Governor Gregg Abbott said in a statement that the city’s lawsuit violates the constitutional right to travel within the United States guaranteed under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution.
According to the governor, the migrants voluntarily boarded the buses to New York City once the Biden administration authorized that they could remain in the US, therefore they had the “constitutional authority to travel across the country.”
During a January 7 interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Governor Abbott said rather than suing the charter bus companies, Mayor Adams should sue the Biden administration since it is the administration’s policies that have created the influx of migrants.