AUSTIN, TX – Making good on his previous promise, Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott sent a chartered bus filled with dozens of illegal immigrants from his home state straight to Washington, D.C. Wednesday morning as a means of protesting the Biden Administration’s handling of the ongoing crisis at the U.S. southern border.
Abbott had announced on April 6 that he would round up detained migrants in his state willing to make the trip and send them to Washington D.C. via charter buses in response to Biden’s decision to end the Title 42 public health emergency on May 23, a move that has both Republican and Democrat lawmakers crying foul amid continued record-breaking numbers of migrant encounters at the border each month.
“Texans demand and deserve an aggressive, comprehensive strategy to secure our border—not President Biden’s lackluster leadership,” Abbott said. “As the federal government continues to roll back commonsense policies that once kept our communities safe, our local law enforcement has stepped up to protect Texans from dangerous criminals, deadly drugs, and illegal contraband flooding into the Lone Star State.”
Title 42 is a clause of the 1944 Public Health Services Law that the Trump Administration began using in March 2020 to rapidly expel migrants from the United States during the pandemic due to possible “introduction of communicable diseases.”
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The first bus arrived in D.C. at 8 a.m. Wednesday morning, just a few blocks away from the U.S. Capitol building, and let out its passengers: dozens of illegal immigrants hailing from Colombia, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. As both individuals and families disembarked from the bus, they each checked in with officials, had wristbands they were wearing removed, and then were allowed to leave and go wherever they wanted.
This bus trip was just the first of many, according to Texas officials. Several more busses were sent to border communities in the state in order to identify migrants who wanted to go to Washington, D.C., round them up, and transport them there. Each bus has the capacity and supplies to take groups of 40 at a time to the nation’s capital.
Governor Abbott may be facing a major legal hurdle to clear if he wishes to continue with this program, as a 2012 Supreme Court decision forbids states from creating their own policies on immigration. However, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton reportedly welcomed any lawsuits that the federal government may bring, reportedly saying, “I’m daring them to follow federal law.”