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By Sofia Ahmed and Ted Hesson

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, said on Friday he had begun sending buses with immigrants to New York in a bid to push responsibility for them onto Democratic mayors and the president. American, Joe Biden, also a Democrat.

The first bus arrived this Friday at the Port Authority bus terminal, in downtown Manhattan, with about 50 immigrants from Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras and Venezuela. Volunteers were helping to direct people who had no relatives in the city to municipal centers.

“Most have no one to help them. They don’t know where to go, so we’re taking them to shelters,” volunteer Evelin Zapata, from a group called Grannies Respond, said at a bus station.

A family of four from Colombia, who ended up in a homeless shelter in the center of the Bronx, weren’t sure where they would spend the night. Byron and Leidy, both 28, said they left Bogotá because they were having trouble finding work. They didn’t give their last names.

Abbott, who is running for a third term as governor in the November election, has sent more than 6,000 immigrants to Washington since April as part of a broader attempt to fight illegal immigration and hold Biden for his immigrant-friendly policies.

Biden came to power in January 2021 promising to roll back many of the hard-line immigration policies of his Republican predecessor, former President Donald Trump, but some of his measures have been blocked by the courts.

(Reporting by Sofia Ahmed in New York and Ted Hesson in Washington; additional reporting by Idrees Ali and Jeff Mason in Washington; Roselle Chen and Dan Fastenberg in New York)

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