Immigrant groups in NJ prepared to welcome a plane of migrants. It never happened.
She said several organizations have been able to secure short-term accommodation, lawyers, translation services, restaurants ready to donate hot meals and transportation.
“People will end up in New Jersey one way or another anyway,” Bustamante said, referring to the more than 11,000 asylum seekers Texas has sent to New York since May. “We’re all really committed to helping people and making sure people are treated like humans.”
A spokeswoman said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy believes that “the exploitation of vulnerable people for a political coup by sending them to another state without notice under false pretenses is wrong” and that “every migrant deserves to be treated with dignity and respect”.
The governor’s office did not say what resources it was deploying to Teterboro, but said it stands ready to help with local emergency operations response if needed. A Bergen County spokesperson said county services are also on hold.
As organizers waited for the plane to land, some were escorted out of the airport terminal and instead set up their headquarters at La Havana 59, a nearby restaurant.
“We try to respond to every cruelty they have with kindness,” said Dorothy Wetzel, board chair of First Friends of NJ & NY.
As planes sped overhead and more organizers arrived, Amy Torres, executive director of the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice, gave periodic updates, checking on flight status. and checking with government officials.
Around 6:30 p.m., some organizers pulled into a nearby Chick-Fil-A to make sure there was no one but crew members getting off the plane, Bustamante said. She said two migrants from Texas had arrived, but were on a commercial flight to Newark Liberty Airport, and did not appear to be connected to the migrant flights planned by Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
Throughout the day, immigrant advocates, journalists and other interested parties followed the theft, sharing updates on social media as they tried to determine exactly what, if anything, was going on. .
Roy H. Miller Jr., the manager of the East Texas Regional Airport from where the flight departed, said his phone had been ringing all day. The airport usually knows little about a flight and its passengers, he said. But Ultimate Air Shuttle 11 had arrived Monday with just one crew on board, and departed Tuesday the same way, he said.
“From our perspective, it was a storm in a teapot – they just landed here to get fuel, that’s all we knew,” Miller said.