El Paso’s migrant bus program, which has flooded New York City with thousands of new border arrivals since August, could soon end, an official in the Texas city told The Post.
El Paso Deputy City Manager Mario D’Agostino said the Democrat-led border city may stop busing migrants to the Big Apple in light of the new Biden administration policy that would instead send asylum-seeking Venezuelans back to Mexico if they cross into the US illegally.
“We realize that we won’t need the charters, so at the point, we will start handling it differently,” D’Agostino said.
Migrants from Venezuela have been arriving in El Paso from Mexico in historic numbers, at about 2,100 a day. The migrants — who illegally enter the US, then claim asylum, leading to a lengthy court process — have been making up a vast majority of the immigrants bused to the Big Apple.
At its busing effort’s peak about two weeks ago, El Paso had been sending nine to 14 buses filled with migrants to New York City daily.
But since Biden announced that Venezuelans could be kicked out of the country under the Trump-era Title 42 rules, the bus numbers have dropped to four to eight vehicles daily.
Fewer buses would be welcome news to Big Apple Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat who declared a “state of emergency” earlier this month as he predicted the migrant influx would cost the city $1 billion by next year.
New York City is currently in the midst of controversial plans to build a “tent city” for the migrants on Randall’s Island.
The Post was on the ground in El Paso on Sunday as four charter buses with mostly Venezuelans departed from the city — two bound for New York and two for Chicago, another location El Paso has been sending migrants.
D’Agostino, who is in regular contact with the US Border Patrol and Mexican authorities, said El Paso officials have been told it will take seven to 10 days to see the number of Venezuelans being allowed to stay in the country drop.
Currently, only some immigrants from Venezuela are being expelled to Mexico, and the criteria for who gets sent back and who gets to stay in the US is still unclear.
It’s also unknown how many Venezuelans who are returned to Mexico will try to cross back into the country illegally.
El Paso’s busing program, separate from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s efforts, was created in August as a response to the surge of Venezuelans arriving in the border city.
Those without a family member or friend to send the immigrant money to move on were stuck in El Paso and threatened to collapse the homeless shelter system. In September, the city was forced to release immigrants onto the streets to sleep, a nightmare scenario for local leaders.
The number of migrant buses that El Paso might send out of state each day is decided by 8 or 9 the night before, after local leaders look at how many beds they have available in the city’s network of shelters and how many immigrants don’t have money to move on to their final destination cities, D’Agostino explained.
“We will continue the charters, as long as there’s enough demand to fill those charters,” D’Agostina said.