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New Jersey towns becoming stopping points for asylum seekers headed to New York City, mayors say

New Jersey towns becoming stopping points for asylum seekers, mayors say
New Jersey towns becoming stopping points for asylum seekers, mayors say 02:25

HIGHLAND PARK, N.J. -- Several New Jersey towns have become stopping points for asylum seekers Texas' governor is sending to New York City on chartered buses.

At least two mayors in the Garden State say Gov. Greg Abbott is trying to evade new regulations in the city meant to curb numbers of asylum seekers coming into Manhattan.

Chartered buses with asylum seekers came to the Edison train station on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, according to the Edison Police chief. He says on the first night, they were notified by NJ Transit. He also says they were accompanied by members of a security firm hired by the state of Texas.

He was also told not everyone continued on to New York City.

"We've had a chartered bus on standby, but we want to make it clear that they would not be able to stay in Edison Township," Edison Mayor Sam Joshi said.

Joshi, a Democrat, says his town shouldn't have to pay for Texas' problems.

"What I know is that Edison Township cannot, does not have the financial resources or the social services resources to take care of migrants," he said.

Pastor Seth Kaper-Dale, of the Reformed Church of Highland Park, which has a program resettling refugees, is blasting the mayor.

"The fact that a local mayor in the state that has one of the largest immigrant populations in this country was not prepared to more lovingly answer that question is very disturbing," he said.

Kaper-Dale says asylum seekers coming from Texas aren't here illegally and that most have been given notices to appear in court to explain why they should stay.

"They are not here in hiding. They haven't been snuck here by coyotes who are trying to illegally move them from one place to another," he said.

"I am a son of immigrants. I am proud to be the mayor of a community that is largely filled by immigrants," Joshi said. "Mayors cannot be responsible to take care of immigration."

Kaper-Dale says Interfaith Rise and other programs this year helped 4,000 refugees and those on humanitarian parole, a term used to describe those waiting to have their cases heard.

He says 1,500 are from Haiti, 400 are Cuban, 800 are from Ukraine and several hundred fled Afghanistan, and he says some,  including unaccompanied children, came from the southern border.

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