The first group of migrants bussed in from Texas have arrived at the nation’s Capitol after Gov. Abbott’s new immigration plan to fight back at what he says is the federal government’s lax border policies.
The Republican governor announced last week that he would direct the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to charter busses to send migrants released from federal custody into Texas to Washington, D.C.
The first bus pulled up around 8 a.m. on Wednesday just blocks away from the Capitol building, in front of the building that houses Fox News, NBC and C-SPAN. The migrants had come from the Del Rio sector in Texas and had traveled to the U.S. border from Colombia, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela.
After the bus arrived, migrants disembarked one by one, checked in with officials who cut off wrist bands whey were wearing and were told they could go, according to Fox News Digital.
A second bus is currently en route to Washington, the governor’s office said in a press release.
Some had predicted that the governor was bluffing, and the legality of his plan is still in question. The White House dismissed it as a ‘publicity stunt’ and Texas GOP state Rep. Matt Schaefer called it a ‘gimmick.’
First bus of migrants arrives at Washington, D.C. from Texas
State officials said they will charter ‘as many buses as we need’ to send migrants on the 28-hour journey from the border to D.C.
A 2012 Supreme Court case, Arizona v. U.S., prevents states from making their own immigration policies.
Abbott said that migrant communities would want to be bussed to D.C.
He told Fox News hosts Dana Perino and Bill Hemmer: ‘When they come across the border, it’s not like they want to stay in the Rio Grande Valley.
‘They are moving across the entire country.
‘What better place to go to than the steps of the United States Capitol – they get to see the beautiful Capitol, and get closer to the people making the decisions.’
Abbott said that if President Biden would not visit the border himself to see the scale of the problem, the governor would ‘take the border to him.’
The second prong of Abbott’s new immigration plan is border agents are now stopping and searching every single vehicle that comes across the border for smuggled migrants.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki slammed the new vehicle checks for causing supply chain issues in a statement Wednesday.
‘Governor Abbott’s unnecessary and redundant inspections of trucks transiting ports of entry between Texas and Mexico are causing significant disruptions to the food and automobile supply chains, delaying manufacturing, impacting jobs, and raising prices for families in Texas and across the country,’ she said.
‘Local businesses and trade associations are calling on Governor Abbott to reverse this decision because trucks are facing lengthy delays exceeding 5 hours at some border crossings and commercial traffic has dropped by as much as 60 percent.’
Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) too hit out against Abbott, claiming his ‘unnecessary’ stop-and-search policy ‘will impact consumers and businesses nationally.’
Abbott further said border agents would be given riot gear to push back any orchestrated plans to overwhelm border crossings by caravans, and that they’d be conducting rehearsals in the coming days.
Explaining the measures he is enacting, Abbott said: ‘We’re deploying boat blockades at appropriate regions in the Rio Grande, deploying razor wire in low water areas and creating container blockades to drive people away from low water areas.
‘There will be mass-migration rehearsals from tomorrow – troopers will be equipped with riot gear in case of violence.
Cargo trucks wait to cross to the United States during a blockade at the Jeronimo-Santa Teresa international crossing that connects Ciudad Juarez to Santa Teresa to protest against the exhaustive inspections carried out by the US, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, on April 12
Abbott announced last week that every truck crossing into the U.S. would need to be stopped and search by border agents
Mexican truck drivers block the Pharrâ¿”Reynosa International Bridge connecting the city of Reynosa to McAllen, Texas, to protest truck inspections imposed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, in Reynosa, Mexico April 11
‘The border region is going to be lit at night in prominent smuggling areas to make it easier to detect any illegal activity that is taking place.
‘If you’re a caravan organizer, and you think you can overwhelm a site of entry, we’ll be waiting for you.’
The new aggressive measures come as the Biden administration announced that Title 42 will be allowed to expire on May 23. Democrats and Republicans have warned of a mass onslaught of migration once the Covid-19 health restriction that is used to expel most migrants is allowed to expire.
Even Democrat Beto O’Rourke, who is challenging Abbott for the governor’s seat, urged the Biden administration not to end the policy without a plan.
‘It does not make sense to end this until there is a real plan and the capacity in place to handle those and address those that come over,’ O’Rourke told the Texas Tribune on Tuesday. ‘I have yet to hear a plan from the Biden administration to address the dynamic we will have on the border once Title 42 ends.’
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials have warned that 18,000 migrants could try to cross the border per day once Title 42 is allowed to expire.
Republicans from the House Oversight Committee recently visited the border to survey facilities.
Migrants were caught taking selfies at the unfinished border wall. House Oversight Committee ranking member Jamie Comer, R-Ky., who recently traveled to the border, pointed out that one migrant was carrying what looked to be a Louis Vuitton bag and the selfies showed the migrants were unafraid to illegally cross into the U.S.
‘That shows a lack of fear. They’re breaking the law, they’re here illegally,’ Comer told Fox News Digital. ‘But yet they’re taking selfies on their Apple phones with their Louis Vuitton purses and Nike shoes, and they’re ready to be escorted to their next visit.’
Meanwhile one of the Biden administration’s new enforcement policies is to give migrants smartphones when they are released intro the U.S. to track them. There is, however, no way to stop these migrants from getting rid of the phones.