First Busload of Migrants Arrive in Washington From Texas Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. (AP)
By Charlie McCarthy | Wednesday, 13 April 2022 11:08 AM
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's vow to send migrants from the southern border to Washington, D.C., became reality Wednesday, when the first bus arrived in the nation's capital.
Abbott, R-Texas, announced last week that he was directing the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to transport migrants released from federal custody in Texas to Washington, D.C., and other locations outside the Lone Star State.
A bus with dozens of migrants — from Colombia, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela — pulled up at approximately 8 a.m. local time, blocks away from the Capitol building, Fox News reported.
The media outlet added that the migrants checked in with officials and had wristbands they were wearing cut off. They then were informed they could go.
Breitbart reported that Customs and Border Protection agents in Texas' Del Rio sector were being instructed to tell illegal migrants not to board buses bound for Washington D.C., a West Texas mayor said.
TDEM told Fox News that many of the communities that originally reached out for support — from the Rio Grande Valley to Terrell County — said the federal government stopped dropping immigrants in their towns since Abbott's April 6 announcement — a sign the governor's announcement was having an impact.
Abbott's decision to bus migrants to other cities came in response to the Biden administration saying it planned to end Title 42 deportations by May 23. The move, which the governor called ''unprecedented'' in U.S. history, is one of several unilateral actions the state is taking to curb illegal immigration along the border.
Abbott also ordered the Texas Department of Public Safety to increase its inspections of commercial vehicles up and down the Texas-Mexico border.
Commercial traffic at the southern border had snarled after state troopers stepped up safety inspections of trucks.
The head of the Texas Independent Produce Association said the flow of produce across the border was taking 10 times longer than usual, stretching the usual wait of three hours to more than 30 as a result of Abbott's initiative.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki released a statement Wednesday slamming Abbott.
"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," Psaki said in the statement.
"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.
"The continuous flow of legitimate trade and travel and CBP’s ability to do its job should not be obstructed. Governor Abbott’s actions are impacting people’s jobs, and the livelihoods of hardworking American families."