In New Jersey, local leaders are grappling with the unexpected arrival of migrants, leading to varied responses across the state. The situation unfolded as bus operators began circumventing New York Mayor Eric Adams’ executive order limiting migrant arrivals by dropping off passengers in suburban New Jersey.

Secaucus Mayor Michael Gonnelli reported at least four buses carrying migrants arrived at the Secaucus train station over the weekend, from where the migrants boarded trains to New York City. The New York executive order aimed to regulate the busing of migrants into the city, requiring bus operators and third parties to contact the city’s Office of Emergency Management in advance.

However, in Edison, NJ, Mayor Sam Joshi took a different approach. Faced with the arrival of a bus full of migrants, Joshi decided to turn it away, citing major security and health risks. He emphasized that local police were unable to identify whether any of the 40 individuals on the bus were carrying weapons, which contributed to the decision to not tolerate this risk in Edison.

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, also a gubernatorial candidate, called for a compassionate approach to the migrant crisis. Drawing parallels to his family’s history as Holocaust survivors seeking refuge in the U.S., Fulop emphasized the importance of upholding New Jersey’s values of supporting people in need and not turning away those seeking safety.

As more migrants might be sent to New Jersey, it remains to be seen how the state will continue to respond and manage this challenging situation. The differing approaches of local mayors highlight the complexities and urgent need for a coordinated state-wide strategy to address the migrant crisis.