New York City's top immigration official criticized Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's effort to ship asylum-seeking migrants to the city on buses.
"It is disgusting that he is using human beings and treating them in such a way," Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Manuel Castro told Errol Louis on "Inside City Hall" Monday.
"We are finding people who are thirsty, hungry, and even sick," Castro explained. "The treatment of these asylum seekers is just deplorable."
Castro went on to call Abbott's actions "morally corrupt" and "cowardly."
The city first became aware of a greater number of migrants arriving about two months ago, Castro said, when a surge of asylum seekers began entering the shelter system.
Some migrants he spoke with were not aware they were being sent to New York City, Castro said. In one case, a family with a 3-year-old and an 8-year-old arrived in the city thinking they were on their way to Wisconsin.
"While they were excited to be in New York, they had taken a three-day journey to New York without much water, food, and they were scared," Castro said. Another individual the commissioner talked to thought they were being sent to Portland, Oregon.
Now, the city is seeking federal support to help relocate migrants to their desired destinations as well as feed, clothe and house those who are in New York.
"We'll need all the support that we need, especially providing shelter," Castro said, noting the city opened 11 new locations to help handle the increase in arrivals. "This is a right-to-shelter city, so we're committed to finding those beds."
The commissioner also said the city will be setting up a fund to help the migrants that New Yorkers can donate to.
Castro recalled his own journey to New York City, where he grew up after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border at the age of 5.
"It fills me with a lot of emotion to be able to do this in this role, but it also puts some fire under me to speak up for the way that they're treating these families," Castro said.
Many of the migrants, Castro said, are fleeing persecution and "idolize the United States and New York and they want to participate and want to be helpful" in their new city.
"New York is the city it is because of our rich heritage of welcoming immigrants," Castro added.