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NYC mayor calls actions of 10 people arrested for blocking bus carrying migrants an ‘ugly’ response to crisis

By Andy Rose and Celina Tebor, CNN

(CNN) — New York City Mayor Eric Adams on Wednesday called the actions of 10 people arrested for blocking and “spewing hateful words” at a bus carrying migrants on Staten Island an “ugly” response to the ongoing crisis.

The arrests came as the southern border region has seen a spike in migrant crossings, with the cities of El Paso, Texas, and San Diego, California, experiencing growing waves of newcomers in recent days.

New York City has become the epicenter of the crisis after the number of newly arrived asylum seekers since spring 2022 surpassed 100,000 last month. Costs are projected to run up to $12 billion in the coming years as people line up in search of housing and other basic services.

Adams told CNN affiliate NY1 News that protesters blocking traffic and banging on the bus of migrants in the Midland Beach section of Staten Island Tuesday night represented an “ugly display of how we deal with the crisis.”

The NYPD told CNN 10 people were taken into custody. One person was arrested for assault, and nine others received summonses for disorderly conduct.

Police said the confrontation was under investigation.

Adams told Fox 5 the protesters banged on buses and spewed “hateful words toward ethnic groups.”

The mayor condemned the protesters’ actions on CNN affiliate PIX 11, saying “they were wrong to act that way, and we’re not going to allow it to happen.”

Adams noted that while President Joe Biden is in New York City for the United Nations General Assembly he has an “opportunity … to look at the Roosevelt Hotel” in Manhattan – which is a Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center set up in response to the ongoing surge in asylum seekers.

The reasons for why people migrate to the US are widely varied, according to experts, with some fleeing violence, while others are looking for economic opportunities or to reunite with family members who are already here.

In Texas, El Paso is on the “cusp of a third wave” of migrant arrivals as shelters in the area are over capacity, Opportunity Center for the Homeless Deputy Director John Martin told CNN on Monday. And in California, about 2,000 migrants have arrived in San Diego over the last several days, the Immigrant Defenders Law Center told CNN earlier this week.

™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’sConor Powell, Taylor Romine, Norma Galeana and Krecyte Villarreal contributed to this report.

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