A political tactic by the governors of Texas and Arizona to offload the problems caused by record levels of migration at the border is beginning to hit home in Washington, as hundreds of undocumented migrants arriving on the governors’ free bus rides each week increasingly tax the capital’s ability to provide emergency food and housing.
With no money and no family to receive them, the migrants are overwhelming immigrant nonprofits and other volunteer groups, with many ending up in homeless shelters or on park benches. Five buses arrived on a recent day, spilling young men and families with nowhere to go into the streets near the Capitol.
Venezuelans have been showing up daily at the offices of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York seeking help. “Their primary concern has been a place to stay, food for their children,” said Maryann Tharappel, who directs the organization’s immigrant and refugee services.
“The infrastructure in New York is not built for this,” she said. “We are not on the border.”
Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas and Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona, both Republicans, blame President Biden for record numbers of migrants crossing the southern border.
Cities along the border in Texas and Arizona have at times been overwhelmed with a surge in unauthorized border crossings that peaked under the Biden administration, which has sought to unravel some of the harsh border restrictions imposed by former President Donald J. Trump.
Adams has requested city agencies to provide photographs of potential hires to City Hall as candidates go through the interview process for city jobs ranging from assistant commissioner to departmental press secretary, Politico reported Thursday.
Several unnamed city officials told the outlet that the request is clearly an effort to hire more diverse staffers. However, Adams maintains that it will merely help him recognize his employees in the sprawling city workforce.
“Everyone knew what it was. There was no question. It was the first thing everybody said: ‘We’re going to start counting complexions now,’” one recently-departed City Hall employee told Politico.
The majority of the officials interviewed by the outlet — who requested anonymity to speak freely about the internal measure — said they supported a more diverse workforce but worried the practice is already causing the Adams administration to make hiring decisions with a greater emphasis on race and ethnicity than merit.