New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is asking bus companies sending migrants to the state to provide advance notice of arrivals, mirroring a similar rule recently implemented by New York City Mayor Eric Adams.
In a public letter Monday, Murphy asked about two dozen bus companies that he said were sending migrants from the southern border to New Jersey to provide 32 hours advance notice to the state’s Office of Emergency Management, as well as an estimated time of arrival and total number of passengers. According to Murphy, around 1,800 migrants have been sent to the state since about the start of the new year with “nearly all” passengers headed to New York City.
Murphy’s letter to bus companies does not mention how the request will be enforced, but it said that “we reserve all rights to take appropriate action against any person acting in violation of any applicable laws.” It follows New York City’s lawsuit last week against 17 bus companies and seeking $708 million to cover the cost of taking care of migrants.
Murphy’s letter was sent to many of the companies Adams is suing. Most of them did not immediately respond Monday to messages seeking comment on the letter, while a handful could not be reached.
“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,” Murphy said in a statement. “Additionally, because we know the vast majority of these individuals are intending to travel to New York City, this information will be shared with our colleagues across the Hudson to ensure the passengers’ health and safety there.”
Adams, like Murphy a Democrat, has said the influx of migrants is draining city resources and will “destroy” his city. He recently issued an executive order that required 32 hours of advanced notice and limited time windows when migrants can be bussed to the state or they could face fines and impoundment. Bus companies have sent migrants to New Jersey train stations as a workaround to the rules.
Adams — as well as New York Gov. Kathy Hochul — have said New Jersey should set rules similar to New York City’s, with time windows and advance notifications of migrant buses.
“The governor of New Jersey is being a great partner here,” New York City Deputy Mayor Fabien Levy said Monday during Adams’ media availability.
Reports of migrant buses sent to train stations across New Jersey first emerged on New Year’s Eve and have continued in a handful of municipalities since.
Some local officials in New Jersey have considered responding to the buses themselves. In Edison, one of the largest municipalities in the state, the Democratic mayor said he would have a charter bus on standby to send migrants back to the southern border if they came. In Trenton, the state’s capital and also one of the state’s largest municipalities, the mayor considered implementing his own executive order similar to Adams’ but held off at the request of the governor’s office, which he said sought a more uniform approach.
Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora said that his city has recently seen buses of migrants dropped off “between 11:30 at night and 7:00 in the morning.” While most head to New York City, he estimated that around 50 people have stayed in Trenton. Murphy’s request was welcome, he said Monday, “especially since they’re coming in the wee hours of night and there are passengers that elect to remain in Trenton.”