Migrants leave NYC for Canada on taxpayer-funded bus tickets
Angry migrants fed up with the crime and filth of the Big Apple are moving to the Great White North — on bus rides paid for by New York taxpayers, The Post has learned.
National Guard soldiers have been helping distribute tickets at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan to migrants wanting to go north before entering Canada, several migrants said.
Venezuelan native Raymond Peña and his family arrived at a bus stop in Plattsburgh, NY — about 20 miles south of the Canadian border — at 4 a.m. Sunday.
“The military gave me and my family free bus tickets,” Peña said. “I’m going to Canada to offer my family a better quality of life.”
A National Guard source confirmed that soldiers at the bus station directed migrants to workers who were handing out the free passes.
Mayor Eric Adams’ administration pays various companies that run programs for migrants that include “rebookings” so they can travel to other cities, a city hall source said.
Various nonprofits, including Catholic charities, are also helping migrants trying to flee Gotham, the source said.
A spokesman for Catholic Charities Community Services said it has helped “thousands of new migrants,” including some who “have reported a desire to move to other cities, and Catholic Charities have provided some assistance with their travel expenses.”
Destinations are limited to within the US pending the completion of the asylum process, due to restrictions prohibiting the migrants from leaving the country while they are on “probation” for immigration, a source said.
But word has spread among the migrant community that Canada — where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has touted the country’s “proud and longstanding tradition of welcoming people in search of safety” — is the place to be.
Migrants routinely tear up their American immigration documents when traveling from Plattsburgh to the Canadian border, with The Post seeing scraps of paper on the floor of a shuttle van with references to the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The van, which has the word “FRONTERA,” Spanish for “border,” painted on its sides, is one of three operated by Chad’s Shuttle Services.
Driver Tyler Tambini, his girlfriend’s brother who owns the company, said passengers arrive like clockwork on the five buses from New York City that stop in Plattsburgh each day.
“It has to be 100 people a day,” said Tambini, 23. “I do this all day. You’ll be dropped off and I’ll take you the rest of the way.”
Tambini said his employer billed single migrants $40 to $50 each and families $90. Taxi drivers, who charge individual migrants $70 each, compete for business by rushing to buses to solicit passengers and help them with their luggage.
The Post escorted several groups of migrants who drove Tambini’s van from the Mountain Mart gas station to a cul-de-sac at the end of rural Roxham Road, just steps from the Canadian border.
After trudging north along a snow-covered trail and through a breach in a concrete barrier, the migrants were stopped by Mounties stationed in an elaborate complex of metal sheds.
“You entered Canada. You’re under arrest,” said a Mountie. “Take everything out of your pockets and put it in your pockets – just ‘dinero’ [Spanish for ‘money’] in your pockets.”
Mounties then escorted the migrants up an enclosed ramp and into a shed for processing.
Peruvian-born Susy Sanchez Solzarno, 33, traveled from Roxham Road to Canada with her husband and two daughters early Friday morning after one of the 15-year-old girls saw a video posted by fellow migrants on TikTok.
Solzarno said the family entered the United States from Mexico in December and later spent about a month at a Queens Marriott hotel used as emergency accommodation.
“I wanted to live in New York because I thought it would be a better future for my daughters,” she said. “But as the days went by I saw insecurity, a lot of homeless people, a lot of people screaming and being disrespectful and a lot of people doing drugs.”
Solzarno said she sold candy on the subway system for nearly two weeks to pay for her travel.
“I’m going to Canada for the safety and future of my girls,” she said. “I just ask God that everything goes well and that Canada is not like the United States.”
Venezuelan-born Manuel Rodon, 26, who arrived in Plattsburgh around 4 a.m. Saturday, said he decided to leave the city after being “kicked out” from the Row NYC Hotel near Times Square and placed in a homeless shelter moved to Brooklyn.
Rodon described the shelter as “OK” with the exception of the American residents.
“A lot of Americans used drugs there,” he said. “I have a feeling Canada will be safer. It’s a much quieter country than America.”
Rodon, who crossed the border about an hour after arriving in Plattsburgh, said he knew eight other Venezuelans who had made the same trip.
“They also got all the free tickets. It was the same process,” he said. “It took them three days through customs. You are all safe. They live in Montreal.”
Rodon, a painter and construction worker, said “all the information is on social media” and he hopes to get a work permit in Canada quickly.
“It’s very difficult to get papers in America,” he said. “I have to work, so I’m going to Canada.”
Under federal law, migrants cannot apply for a work permit until 30 days after formally applying for asylum, and are then barred from applying for a work permit for an additional 150 days.
Adams has urged the White House to expedite that process and give the city $1 billion in emergency aid to help migrants provide housing and other services that the mayor said could cost twice as much.
Last month, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre refused to commit to fully complying with Adam’s request, saying only that unspecified, new funding “would be available for border cities and those cities that see an influx of receive migrants”.
But Hizzoner urged Biden to meet on the matter after the president held a news conference in Manhattan last week, a source at the time said.
As of Wednesday, an estimated 43,900 migrants had poured into the city since the spring, with more than 28,400 living in 83 hotels and five “Humanitarian Emergency Relief and Relief Centers” set up in larger hotels and at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal.
Asked for comment about the bus tickets, Adams spokesman Fabien Levy said: “As we have said since the beginning of this crisis, our aim is to support asylum seekers who wish to move elsewhere, with friends, family, and/or Community and rebook if necessary to get people to their final destination, if not New York City.”
City Hall did not respond to questions about the cost of “re-ticketing.”
A spokeswoman for Gov. Kathy Hochul said neither the state nor the National Guard would pay for bus tickets, directing the Post to the city for more information.
“At the request of the city, members of the National Guard have been deployed to the Port Authority bus station, where they greet people upon arrival, answer questions and direct them to services, including any transportation they are seeking,” spokeswoman Hazel Crampton-Hays said.
https://nypost.com/2023/02/05/migrants-abandon-nyc-for-canada-with-taxpayer-funded-bus-tickets/ Migrants leave NYC for Canada on taxpayer-funded bus tickets