Migrants arriving in the Big Apple are now bussed into Canada on taxpayer-funded buses to flee New York City’s “drugs, crime and homeless people.”
New York City has been a haven for migrants since they arrived through the hundreds of fleeing countries such as Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Honduras and the Dominican Republic for a better life.
Many of those illegal immigrants have been living at The Watson Hotel on 57th and Tenth Avenue for the past month in taxpayer-funded hotel rooms that cost as much as $450 a night — until they were removed and transported to Red Hook, Brooklyn, last weekend. one of the locations of the city’s Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers.
But it has been revealed that many of the migrants have been given “free tickets” to Canada that will give them a better life and better opportunities in a country where drug abuse and homelessness are not so prevalent.
One such Venezuelan migrant who slept on the street outside the Watson Hotel and was then transferred to Red Hook told DailyMail.com ‘we don’t want to stay in New York…we want to go to Canada because we think we will’ get more help there.’
Migrants boarded a bus to the Red Hook facility in Brooklyn last week
New York City Mayor Eric Adams has been desperately trying to solve the city’s migrant crisis
He said other migrants staying in New York looking for work are trying to find other housing.
“No one likes that place[Red Hook]… it’s disgusting,” he said.
Last week, 22-year-old Llabrador shared a photo with DailyMail.com of his flip-flops floating in a puddle of swirling dirty shower water during his first night at the facility and his experience showering for the first time.
The shower was clogged and the water didn’t drain properly.
“We’re not doing well…it’s so bad just taking a shower,” he said. “They are not conditions for a normal person, prison is better.”
But some of the challenges they face include the lack of work permits, no immigration papers and hardly any pocket money, making it difficult for the majority of migrants to find work in the Big Apple.
Ivan, 33, from Venezuela, told DailyMail.com that he was shocked by the rampant drug use in the shelters and all the homeless people and that things are very different in his native country.
‘I’ve seen people in the [New York City] shelters using drugs I don’t see this in Venezuela,” said Ivan, who showed DailyMail.com a photo of himself in military uniform that he was in his native country.
It’s unclear if Ivan will travel to Canada, but Ruben, who is also from Venezuela, told DailyMail.com he’s 80 percent confident he’ll start over and hopes to leave New York City later this week.
Llabrador, one of the migrants sleeping on the street outside The Watson Hotel, told DailyMail.com that a couple from the LGBTQ community took him and his friend — another migrant — into their home and gave them a place to stay until they made their next move.
‘It is awesome. It’s beautiful,’ Llabrador said, expressing his gratitude for their kindness.
Llabrador, who was in the special forces unit in Venezuela, said that unlike many of his colleagues, he has immigration papers that could help him find a job in New York City more easily and that he is in a better position than some.
But for those with families, Canada may be more of a viable option. A Venezuelan migrant told the New York Post that “the military has given me and my family free bus tickets.”
“I’m going to Canada for a better quality of life for my family,” he said.
A 56-year-old migrant, who fled his native country for a better life and stayed at the Red Hook facility, told DailyMail.com that his 28-year-old daughter was staying in a shelter somewhere in Manhattan.
And said his son was in Canada where he is getting help with a job and housing and hopes to see his kids soon.
It’s unclear how many National Guardsmen are deployed to the Port Authority, but a spokesperson for Governor Kathy Hochul’s office told DailyMail.com Monday that they are assisting there “at the request of the city.”
“Members of the National Guard have been deployed to the port authority’s bus terminal, where they greet people upon arrival, answer questions and direct them to services, including transportation options, they are seeking,” a spokesman for the governor’s office said.
The spokesperson added, “The National Guard does not pay for charter buses or purchase bus tickets to any destination.”
Canadian President Justin Trudeau has been outspoken about accepting migrants
A spokesperson for the mayor’s office told DailyMail.com on Monday that since the beginning of this crisis, their goal has been to connect asylum seekers who want to relocate with friends, family and/or community.
If necessary, re-ticket to get people to their final destination, if not New York City. The spokesperson said community-based organizations have also helped re-ticket people who also want to go elsewhere.
“The mayor and city leadership have spoken about this several times, and our press releases when we open new humanitarian aid centers have also talked about the re-ticketing work to connect people with friends, families and other networks in their desired destinations,” said the spokesman. .
Those locations could be Plattsburgh, or other cities/locations people are trying to go to.
“As the mayor has said, a lot of people who came here on buses didn’t want to or didn’t plan to go to New York City or didn’t want to stay here long-term,” the spokesman said. “We don’t treat Plattsburgh any differently than any other city.
Many of the migrants, mostly men from Venezuela, board a bus to the Red Hook facility normally used as a cruise ship terminal
Dozens of migrants slept outside The Watson Hotel for days after being removed from the hotel to make way for migrant families. The men were bundled up in sleeping bags, blankets to keep warm in freezing temperatures. Many of the items seen here have been donated
But in December, NYC Mayor Eric Adams pleaded with the White House for help with the migrant crisis.
“I’m extremely frustrated,” Adams said in December.
Since 2022, nearly 21,000 migrants have been brought to New York by bus.
But the mayor’s press office has simultaneously attempted to present itself as pro-migrant, with Adam’s press secretary sharing that “asylum seekers also get free round-trip tickets on a NYC ferry every day.” Fox news reported.
As the migrants arrive in NYC, National Guard soldiers are stationed at the Port Authority bus station to hand out free tickets for shuttles heading north to the Canadian border.
City Hall sources said the move was part of a “re-ticketing” plan to help migrants make their way to Canada, according to The New York Post, where President Justin Trudeau has been outspoken about building a refuge for people in need.
Some migrants who accepted their offer told The mail they were heading to Canada because they believed it would be more welcoming to them and offer better opportunities than the United States.
The news comes as a large group of migrants were publicly evicted from a posh downtown hotel in which they were housed, and Mayor Eric Adams has been desperately trying to convince them that the city’s shelters are a safe and welcoming option.
NYC City Hall has paid a number of organizations to help with their re-ticketing program, according to The Post.
One such organization was Catholic Charities Community Services, which said it had helped “thousands of new migrants” move out of NYC.
A spokesman for Catholic Charities said some of those migrants “expressed a desire to move to other cities, and Catholic Charities offered some assistance for their travel expenses.”
A sign of the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal and location where hundreds of migrants are housed. Many were placed in this shelter in Red Hook and lived in The Watson Hotel before being removed last weekend
A group of migrants enter the Red Hook shelter where they are given beds to sleep on, daily meals, and ferry and bus services
The buses carrying the migrants travel as far north as Plattsburgh – just short of the Canadian border – where they are met by local vans and taxis that carry them the rest of the way and drop them off where Canadian police can collect them.
Driver Tyler Tambini, 23, told The Post he has been transporting at least “100 people a day” and his fare is $50 for individuals and $90 for families.
‘I do this all day. They’ll be dropped off and I’ll take them the rest of the way,’ Tambini said.