‘They’re not welcomed here.’ Buses drop immigrants off at 4 NJ train stations, sparking controversy

The immigrants had already been processed at border crossings and were on their way to New York City.

Chris Keating

Jan 2, 2024, 10:14 AM

Updated 203 days ago


New Jersey has found itself right in the middle of the controversy concerning the bussing of immigrants to New York City. Several buses loaded with migrants briefly stopped at four New Jersey train stations this weekend.
The drivers were dropping off people at train stations around the state so that the passengers could continue their journey from Texas to New York City. Those buses pulled into train stations in Edison, Fanwood, Trenton and Secaucus. Migrants then boarded trains for Manhattan.
It’s believed the bus drivers were trying to skirt new rules from New York City’s mayor who said such buses can only be dropped off on weekdays and must provide 32 hours of notice.
Seth Kaper-Dale leads the Reformed Church of Highland Park and worked with his organization to settle 4,000 immigrants in New Jersey last year. He says townships and the state need to be ready for more immigrants arriving by bus.
“All of these people have come through at points of entry and are allowed to be here. And have notices to appear up here,” Kaper-Dale says. “We should have systems in place that direct people to organizations that can provide real services.”
But others are not so accommodating.
“I want to make it clear that our position here in Edison Township is that they’re not welcome here, they are illegal, and they belong on the other side of the border,” says Edison Mayor Sam Joshi.
The mayor went on to say, “I had directed my police department, as well as my emergency management to charter a bus that would take them straight back to the other side of the border if they were to actually come out. The good thing is they didn’t, they got the message and they just left Edison altogether.”
However, taking them back to the border would not be allowed. All of those aboard the busses were processed at the border and allowed into the United States with a future date to meet with an immigration official.
“I am shocked to hear a mayor of Edison, New Jersey say anything negative about immigrants,” Kaper-Dale says. “New Jersey is the fifth-highest recipient of immigrants - California, Texas, Florida, New York and New Jersey…That’s something that we should be proud of and we sure as heck ought to be ready about how we feel about immigrants coming into our state.”
Kaper-Dale says that townships and the state need to be prepared for more immigrants. He notes the rise in immigrants into New Jersey has risen dramatically in recent years, many of those coming from Ukraine and Afghanistan, as well as Cuba.

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