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First Bus of Texas Migrants Arrives Near Capitol 

April 13, 2022 by Reece Nations
First Bus of Texas Migrants Arrives Near Capitol 
National Guardsmen stands watch over a fence near the International bridge where thousands of Haitian migrants have created a makeshift camp, on Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

WASHINGTON — A week after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott vowed to begin transporting busloads of migrants to Washington, D.C., the first transport arrived blocks away from the Capitol building.

At Abbott’s direction, the Texas Division of Emergency Management chartered the buses to transport the people apprehended at the border. In a release, Abbott said the migrants were from Colombia, Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua.

“As the federal government continues to turn a blind eye to the border crisis, the state of Texas will remain steadfast in our efforts to fill in the gaps and keep Texans safe,” Abbott said in a written statement. “By busing migrants to Washington, D.C., the Biden administration will be able to more immediately meet the needs of the people they are allowing to cross our border. Texas should not have to bear the burden of the Biden administration’s failure to secure our border.”

The bus unloaded the passengers between Union Station and the United States Capitol on Wednesday. The migrants were dropped off in front of a building that contains offices for Fox News, NBC News and C-SPAN.

The busing strategy comes as a response to the Biden administration’s plans to rescind the Title 42 migrant expulsion health authority at the end of May, as previously reported by The Well News. Further, Abbott said a second bus carrying migrant passengers was on the way to Washington from Texas on Wednesday. 

“The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has no real plan for addressing this unprecedented surge of illegal aliens but may resort to releasing groups of them in Texas communities whose resources are already overwhelmed,” Abbott wrote in a letter to TDEM Chief W. Nim Kidd. “Texans cannot continue to shoulder the burdens imposed by open-border advocates in other parts of the country.”

Abbott’s office clarified last week that the migrant buses into the nation’s capital were being brought voluntarily after he announced the strategy. Section 274 of the Immigration and Nationality Act specifies that anyone who transports undocumented migrants into the United States is in violation of the law, with additional penalties for transporting groups of 10 or more.

Critics of Abbott’s migrant busing strategy have argued that the move is meant to distract from lengthy supply chain disruptions along the Texas-Mexico border caused by inspections unrelated to Customs and Border Protection screening activities. The additional inspections for trucks carrying goods across the border are being carried out by the Texas Department of Public Safety at Abbott’s behest.

CBP characterized the additional security checks by Texas state law enforcement as “unnecessary” and causing wait times for commercial vehicles to exceed five hours at times in a fact sheet published on Tuesday. Consequently, the delays have led local trade associations, officials and businesses to request the Texas state government to discontinue the additional inspections.

“Gov. 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,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a written statement.

“Local businesses and trade associations are calling on Gov. Abbott to reverse this decision because trucks are facing lengthy delays exceeding five hours at some border crossings and commercial traffic has dropped by as much as 60%,” Psaki continued. “The continuous flow of legitimate trade and travel and CBP’s ability to do its job should not be obstructed.”

Reece can be reached at reece@thewellnews.com

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