Stuck in the Middle | God's World News

Stuck in the Middle

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    New York City Mayor Eric Adams speaks at a news conference in December 2023. (AP/Peter K. Afriyie)
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    Asylum seekers arrive at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City, New York. (AP/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)
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    A migrant gives a thumbs up through a bus window in New York City. (AP/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)
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    Texas Governor Greg Abbott calls New York City’s lawsuit unconstitutional. (AP/LM Otero)
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    Migrants wait for shelter outside a migrant assistance center in New York. (AP/Andres Kudacki)
  • 1 bus lawsuit
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In a suburb outside New York City, migrants step off a bus. Texas officials sent them here. But nobody in New York knew they were coming. They have nowhere to stay.

This isn’t an isolated incident. Tens of thousands of migrants have arrived in New York City and the surrounding towns in such unannounced drop-offs.

So how did New York City officials respond? They sued the bus companies.

Seventeen bus companies are named in a lawsuit charging them with leaving migrants in New York City. City officials say these companies knowingly violated state restrictions against abandoning “needy persons.”

An estimated 33,000 migrants arrived in New York City between the spring of 2022 and the end of 2023. Caring for that many migrants is costly. New York City Mayor Eric Adams wants the bus companies to cover those damages.

The lawsuit caught some bus companies off-guard. “We don’t make policies,” says bus company employee David Jones. “We are just a transportation company.”

Should bus companies be punished for doing what Texas officials asked of them?

Adams doesn’t think it’s that simple. The lawsuit claims the bus companies received $1,650 per migrant. That’s much more than they earn transporting ordinary passengers. City officials see this as a sign that the bus companies acted in “bad faith.”

But Texas Governor Greg Abbott calls this lawsuit unconstitutional. He says it violates the Constitution’s commerce clause. This clause gives the federal government—not the states—authority over business that crosses state lines.

“Every migrant bused or flown to New York City did so voluntarily, after having been authorized by the Biden Administration to remain in the United States,” says Abbott. “As such, they have constitutional authority to travel across the country that Mayor Adams is interfering with.”

Sitting on the Mexican border, Texas faces the worst of America’s immigration crisis. Abbott, a Republican, has cracked down on illegal border crossings. In December 2023, he gave police forces the authority to arrest undocumented immigrants statewide.

Adams, on the other hand, is a Democrat. New York is a “sanctuary city.” There, laws protect immigrants from deportation. Abbott sent migrants to New York and other sanctuary cities as a form of protest. It’s a way of saying, “You want looser immigration laws? Then deal with the consequences yourself.”

Immigration is a complicated issue. Even Christians disagree on the proper solution. But we know all people—immigrants, politicians, bus drivers—are made in God’s image. Republicans and Democrats often spat. This time, bus drivers and migrants find themselves stuck in the middle.

Pray that politicians would find wise solutions to protect the wellbeing of ordinary people.

Why? When political arguments spill into at-odds policies and actions, they have consequences for actual lives.

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