Illegal migrants in New York City headed to Florida during the weekend to assist in Hurricane Ian cleanup, the New York Post reported.
Venezuelan migrants told the Post that they were leaving city shelters to jump in vans heading for Florida. The newspaper reported that hundreds of migrants took advantage of the opportunity.
"They want us for hurricane cleanup. We'd get paid $15 an hour, overtime, and $15 for food daily, I think," Javier Moreno, 37, told the Post.
"I'm going for the work. It's been hard for us migrants to find work here in New York, that's why a lot of us are going. How's the work in Florida?"
Moreno added that a woman "from an organization" approached him with a flyer, which promised the chance to earn $700 a week or more doing hurricane cleanup in Florida.
A driver of one of the vans at a designated pick-up site in Queens told the Post on Saturday that he was under contract with a water and debris company.
"I'm taking these people in the van straight to Florida tonight," the van driver told the Post. "I don't know how many people have left or how many more vans are coming."
One migrant woman told the newspaper that she learned of the vans and the potential Florida work from online group chats.
"We all decided we would go," said the woman, who then was asked who was offering the work.
"I don't know anything, sweetheart," she said.
Another woman asked a Post reporter, "Do you know what kind of work we'll be doing there?"
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, R-Texas, announced in early August that migrants in his state were being bused to New York City. Abbott and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis have been relocating migrants to blue, sanctuary cities as a way to protest President Joe Biden's unwillingness to police the southern border adequately.
Gregorio Avila, 22, on Sunday told the Post that a "lady" had offered him and others work in Tampa.
"They are telling us that we are going to work," said Avila, who told the Post that he came from Venezuela and entered the U.S. through Texas before being bused to New York.
"We have a contact with a lady who is taking us to Florida. We are going to work as contractors on the disaster."
Officials for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and New York City told the Post that their teams were not involved in the effort to van migrants to Florida.
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