On Monday, January 8th, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy took a step towards managing the state’s migrant situation by requesting bus companies transporting migrants to provide 32 hours of advance notice. This move, aligning with New York City’s recent policy, aims to better handle the influx of migrants, particularly those arriving from the southern border.
In a public letter, Governor Murphy addressed approximately two dozen bus companies, highlighting the need for advance notice to New Jersey’s Office of Emergency Management. This includes providing an estimated time of arrival and the total number of passengers. The initiative comes in response to around 1,800 migrants being sent to New Jersey since the start of the year, with the majority headed to New York City.
Murphy said, “As we continue to see more migrants arrive to our state at the hands of the governor of Texas, who is reportedly funding the passengers’ transportation with taxpayer funds, notice to New Jersey officials in advance of these individuals’ anticipated arrival is critical to ensuring the health and safety of passengers once they arrive in New Jersey.”
While the enforcement of this request remains unspecified, the letter states that New Jersey reserves all rights to take appropriate action against any violations of applicable laws. This directive follows a recent lawsuit by New York City against several bus companies seeking substantial funds to cover migrant care costs.
The collaboration between New Jersey and New York City is evident, with New York City Deputy Mayor Fabien Levy acknowledging Governor Murphy’s partnership, with Mayor Eric Adams saying Murphy “shares our outrage” at Monday’s media briefing. The influx of migrants has been a significant challenge, with New York City Mayor Eric Adams stating it is straining city resources.
In an effort to sidestep Mayor Adams’ executive order requiring notice before dropping migrants off in New York City, charter buses driving migrants have begun to drop off migrants in several New Jersey cities including Secaucus, Fanwood, Edison, and Trenton. Local New Jersey officials, like Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora, have expressed support for Governor Murphy’s request. Gusciora noted the importance of advance notice, especially given the timing of migrant arrivals. He emphasized the need for a coordinated approach to address the situation.
Governor Murphy’s directive is a proactive step in addressing the migrant crisis as it overflows out of New York City and across the Hudson River into New Jersey. It reflects the ongoing efforts by state and local governments to manage this issue caused by the border crisis over 1,000 miles away.
As the situation evolves, the collaboration between New Jersey and New York City remains crucial in ensuring local agencies and resources are not depleted by the influx of migrants. Governor Murphy’s initiative highlights the importance of state-level responses in managing national challenges like the ongoing border and migrant crisis.