The steady releasing of migrants in many Texas cities and small towns across the state has slowed dramatically since Gov. Greg Abbott’s pledge to bus them to Washington D.C.
The White House announced the termination next month of Title 42, the protocol enacted in 2020 to head off the risk of coronavirus-infected migrants. Border officials were given authority to expel illegal border crossers immediately, and this program resulted in hundreds of thousands of individuals being turned away. Now there are tens of thousands camped on the Mexico side of the Southern border awaiting the policy change as federal authorities prepare for an influx of as many as 18,000 per day.
Texas officials steadily receive requests from local officials for assistance after the Biden administration releases migrants into small areas with no warning and no assistance. However, Abbott announced Wednesday that the state will charter buses to take migrants who volunteer to the steps of the U.S. Capitol.
Texas division of Emergency Management (TDEM) spokesman Seth Christensen reports that most communities that reached out for support now say the migrant drop-offs have ceased.
An unspecified number of charter buses were dispatched to small communities after the announcement, communities that officials say are overwhelmed by migrants. Officials report each bus has supplies and the capacity to transport up to 40 migrants to Washington.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki criticized the Texas governor on Thursday for the policy, noting that he does not have the authority to compel someone to get on a bus. This, of course, came after she acknowledged that Abbott’s office confirmed that the bus rides are voluntary.
Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-Texas) says the migrants are “fleeing violence or poverty” and that her state’s actions are “shameful.” D.C. councilmember Anita Bonds told reporters that the district welcomes the migrants bused from Texas with open arms, and she does “not appreciate the lack of respect” for the nation’s capital shown by Abbott.
Bonds would quickly change her tune if Washington D.C. were forced to absorb as many as 18,000 migrants every single day without resources or support. Yes, immigration is the constitutional responsibility of the federal government. But when the same government reverses course on policies that actually work and turns a blind eye on the results, who can fault leaders for stepping up and protecting their states?