Bus companies stop transporting migrants to New York City amid Mayor Adams’ $700M lawsuit

Three bus companies agreed to halt the transportation of migrants to New York City amid Democratic Mayor Eric Adams’ $700 million lawsuit, the New York Post reported.

In January, Adams filed a complaint against 17 bus companies that have reportedly carried more than 33,000 migrants from Texas to New York City since April 2022. His complaint argued that the charter bus operators should have to pay for the costs of caring for the migrants, arguing that the companies earned “millions of dollars” from Texas while acting in “bad faith.”

Adams said at the time, “These companies have violated state law by not paying the cost of caring for these migrants, and that’s why we are suing to recoup approximately $700 million already spent to care for migrants sent here in the last two years by Texas.”

The suit claimed that the charter bus firms received $1,650 per person to transport the individuals across the country, noting that the expense was five times more than the average cost for a one-way airplane ticket to New York City.

Abbott previously called the lawsuit “baseless.”

“It’s clear that Mayor Adams knows nothing about the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, or about the constitutional right to travel that has been recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court. 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,” Abbott said in January in response to the announcement of the lawsuit.

Adams’ office filed the complaint shortly after signing an executive order prohibiting transportation companies from dropping off migrants in New York City without giving city officials 32 hours’ notice. The measure also designated a single drop-off location and limited drop-off times from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The mayor stated that charter buses that refuse to abide by the new orders could be impounded. The companies could also be charged with a class B misdemeanor, which carries up to three months in prison, a $500 maximum fine for individuals, and a $2,000 maximum fine for corporations.

Democratic Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson adopted similar measures in November. In response to the new restrictions, Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott began transporting migrants to the sanctuary cities via plane.

A New York City Hall spokesperson told the Post on Wednesday that Texas-based bus company Roadrunner Charters Inc. has agreed to pause its transportation of migrants to the city while litigation is pending. As part of the agreement, the city will not seek preliminary injunctive relief, the representative explained. However, it does not protect the company from having to pay restitution if Adams wins the case.

Two other bus companies, Buckeye Coach LLC and VLP Charters, told the Post that they are no longer hauling migrants to the city.

David Jones, the owner of Buckeye Coach LLC, stated, “We haven’t been in the program for a while — we only went to New York two times.”

“When New York brought up the requirements, we were ready to comply,” he added. “We are not into the politics, all of this is crazy to us. We are just doing interstate commerce. … They hire us, we do a run and that’s it.”

A spokesperson for VLP Charters said, “When the mayor sent the letter, we haven’t continued anymore.”

The other bus companies named in the lawsuit did not respond to the Post’s request for comment.

“I am pleased to see that Roadrunner — one of the bus companies we sued for taking part in Texas Governor Abbott’s scheme to transport tens of thousands of migrants to our city in an attempt to overwhelm our shelter system and shift costs to New York City — has agreed to halt the bussing of migrants into and around New York City while the lawsuit proceeds,” Adams stated.

“We call on all other bus companies involved in this suit to do the same,” he continued. “Reckless political games from the state of Texas will not be tolerated.”

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