Texas officials said they plan to bus more asylum seekers to New York, even as local officials and immigration rights activists charge that those recently dispatched are being sent here without sufficient food, water and medical assistance.

“Yes, more buses will depart from Texas to New York city as a part of our ongoing busing strategy,” Haley Crow, aide to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, said in an email to Gothamist late Monday.

Since Friday, two buses carrying asylum seekers have arrived from Texas, with a total of 68 passengers, according to the mayor’s office of immigrant affairs. The new arrivals are part of a much larger wave of at least 4,000 immigrants who have come from Texas in the last two months, according to Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Manuel Castro.

New York City officials and immigrant rights activists said some of those recently dispatched on buses by the Republican governor were deprived of sufficient provisions, and some required immediate medical attention upon their arrival in New York.

Among the distressed asylum seekers was a 12-year-old girl with diabetes who had been put on a New York-bound bus without any insulin, according to Ilze Thielmann, the director of Team TLC, an organization that has been greeting the immigrants in New York. The girl “clearly was in crisis,” Thielmann said.

Yes, more buses will depart from Texas to New York city as a part of our ongoing busing strategy.

Haley Crow, aide to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

Texas officials had no immediate reply to the alleged treatment, except to double-down on a promise to send more asylum seekers north – another salvo in a widening election-year showdown pitting immigration hardliner Abbott against Democrats in New York and the White House over border issues.

Mayor Eric Adams used his morning press conference on Monday to draw a contrast between New York values and those of Texas and its governor. The Adams administration has complained for weeks that the city’s shelter system has been inundated with asylum seekers sent here from border states.

A New York law requires local governments to provide shelter to qualified people experiencing homelessness who have no place else to go.

“It's just a mean and cruel thing that he's doing,” Adams said of Abbott. “Someone's seeking refuge from leaving a horrific environment, and ‘this is how we treated them in Texas,’ not the people of Texas but the governor of Texas, but that's not who we are as New Yorkers.”

“There’s nothing more anti-American than what he’s doing right now,” he added.

In a statement last week about the busing strategy, which Texas officials call Operation Lone Star, Abbott noted that 6,500 immigrants had been transported north, many of them to Washington, D.C.

"New York City is the ideal destination for these migrants, who can receive the abundance of city services and housing that Mayor Eric Adams has boasted about within the sanctuary city," Abbott said in a statement. “I hope he follows through on his promise of welcoming all migrants with open arms so that our overrun and overwhelmed border towns can find relief."

A political fight

Abbott is attempting to hold onto the governor’s seat and is engaged in an increasingly tight race against Democrat Beto O’Rourke, a former member of Congress. Democrats have described the busing strategy as a stunt meant to fan the conservative base.

On Friday, Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, said Abbott was using the immigrants “as a political ploy. I mean, this is what he’s been doing, and it’s shameful.”

Thielmann, of Team TLC, said many of the immigrants have come from Mexico, Honduras and Venezuela, with some coming from as far away as Argentina.

A number of the travelers were dealing with exhaustion after spending in some cases weeks on foot traveling across the Mexican desert to arrive at the border. A few needed immediate medical care before being transferred to city shelters, or in a few cases, to the homes of relatives.

Thielmann added that the 12-year-old girl arrived Friday on the bus from Texas. The child “had not had insulin for days, and she was clearly in crisis,” Thielmann said. Gothamist's questions about Texas’ provisions for the asylum seekers were referred to the state’s Division of Emergency Management, which did not immediately respond.

Thielmann added that her organization had sponsored bus tickets for several immigrants who have relatives in North Carolina and Virginia and have since left New York.

A 'humanitarian crisis'

Last week, Abbott invited Adams and Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser to Texas to witness “the humanitarian crisis” at the border.

“Local communities are being overrun by record-high numbers of illegal immigrants as President Biden’s reckless open border policies have invited mass migration and transnational criminal activity into Texas communities,” he said in the statement.

But Thielmann insisted the people arriving in New York “are not illegal immigrants.”

“These are people who are going through a legal process of applying for asylum that is provided for in our immigration laws.”

Activists said many of the immigrants had their belongings taken from them at the border, including their birth certificates and other forms of identification.

"Even their Bibles have been taken from them,” said Maryann Tharappel of Catholic Charities New York, speaking on the Brian Lehrer Show.

City officials estimate that more than 4,000 immigrants have arrived in the city in the past two months, and that the number is beginning to place a strain on city resources.

The Adams administration said it was engaged in conversations with the White House about federal relief.

“On Friday, the teams were speaking on a lower level and now we're going to have a higher level conversation with the White House,” said Adams, “and they appear to be extremely receptive to the needs, and they see what's happening in the city.”