Buses Divert Migrants Amid New York City Restrictions

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s (D) office has officially acknowledged that the state is being utilized as a transit point for migrant buses, responding to Mayor Eric Adams’ executive order in New York City to regulate the arrival of asylum seekers.

Murphy’s spokesperson, Tyler Jones, said, “Our Administration has tracked the recent arrival of a handful of buses of migrant families at various NJ TRANSIT train stations. New Jersey is primarily being used as a transit point for these families — all or nearly all of them continued with their travels en route to their final destination of New York City. We are closely coordinating with our federal and local partners on this matter, including our colleagues across the Hudson.”

Secaucus and Fanwood mayors confirm migrant buses are arriving in their towns. Trenton’s mayor, Reed Gusciora, says NJ Transit officials notified them of people arriving at Trenton’s train station, but it’s unclear if they are migrants.

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, a gubernatorial candidate in 2025, stated in a now-deleted social media post that the ongoing arrival of buses is a crucial statewide discussion, emphasizing the need for guidance from the governor on the next steps.

Secaucus Mayor Michael Gonnelli accused migrant buses of exploiting a “loophole” to circumvent Mayor Eric Adams’ executive order in New York City. Gonnelli stated that Hudson County officials informed Secaucus police about buses arriving at Secaucus Junction train station on Saturday. He mentioned that, as per the recent executive order in New York, bus operators are mandated to give a minimum of 32 hours notice for arrivals and adhere to specified drop-off time limits.

Gonnelli released a statement saying, “It seems quite clear the bus operators are finding a way to thwart the requirements of the executive order by dropping migrants at the train station in Secaucus and having them continue to their final destination.”

He proposed that the order might be “too stringent,” leading to “unexpected consequences.”

Gonnelli labeled the strategy a “loophole” exploited by bus operators to enable migrants to access New York City. He also mentioned that state police have indicated that “this is now happening at train stations throughout the state.” Gonnelli pledged to collaborate with state and county officials and to “continue to monitor this situation closely.”

A statement shared on a Jersey City social media account stated that the city’s emergency management agency has informed them that “approximately ten buses from various locations in Texas and one from Louisiana have arrived at various transit stations throughout the state, including Secaucus, Fanwood, Edison, and Trenton.”

Approximately 397 migrants had reached those destinations since Saturday.

On December 27, Adams implemented an executive order mandating that operators of charter buses transporting migrants to New York City provide 36-hour advanced notification to the Commissioner of Emergency Management. The order includes submitting a passenger manifest detailing the number of migrants traveling as single adults versus families.

Additionally, the order restricts drop-offs to specific hours, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and designates specific bus drop-off locations.

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