EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — Gov. Greg Abbott, R-Texas, says he will continue busing migrants to “sanctuary cities” around the nation, and he appears to have the support of Texas voters and border agents.
The governor said that as of Friday, Texas had bused more than 11,000 migrants to New York City, Washington, D.C., and Chicago, adding that the “mission is providing much-needed relief to our overwhelmed border communities.”
The move has prompted Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey to follow suit, both of whom have implemented similar policies of busing or flying migrants awaiting asylum hearings to other parts of the country.
The policy has drawn praise and ire, with opponents calling it a cruel political stunt.
Abbott, however, says the Biden administration is ignoring what he calls a crisis at the border.
“Until the Biden-Harris Administration stops denying the border crisis they’ve created,” Abbott said. “Texas will continue bringing the border to their front door.”
Last week, Texas sent two buses of migrants to Washington, D.C., and had them dropped off outside of Vice President Kamala Harris’ residence at the United States Naval Observatory.
Abbott said he sent migrants to the Harris’ home in response to comments she made last week on “Meet the Press,” when she told Chuck Todd that the border was secure but that the U.S. immigration system was broken.
On Tuesday, Newsweek reported that Florida sent a plane of migrants from San Antonio to President Joe Biden’s home in Delaware.
Meanwhile, the majority of Texas voters recently polled said they support the state’s busing of migrants.
The Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas released a poll last week showing that 52% of Texas voters support the busing of migrants, while 35% expressed opposition and 14% are unsure.
On the other hand, Republicans overwhelmingly approve of the busing policy, with 80% expressing support and 62% expressing “strong support.” Most Democrats, 62%, oppose the busing of migrants, including 50% who “strongly oppose” it.
In a tweet Tuesday afternoon, Abbott said, “President Biden continues ignoring the historic crisis at our southern border caused by his open border policies, so we will bring the border to him. Texas will continue sending migrants to sanctuary cities like Washington, D.C. until President Biden and Border Czar Harris do their jobs and secure the border.”
Abbott on Monday received the endorsement of the National Border Patrol Council, the union representing some 18,000 border agents.
The Council announced the endorsement in a 30-second YouTube video, in which President Brandon Judd echoed Abbott’s criticism of Biden.
“Joe Biden refuses to secure our southern border, he’s crippled law enforcement and emboldened drug cartels, criminals and human traffickers,” Judd says as he stands next to Abbott near an unfinished portion of the border wall. “That’s why the National Border Patrol Council is proud to endorse Gov. Geg Abbott for reelection. He deployed new resources to assist law enforcement and he’s cracked down on criminal activity. No other governor has done more to secure our border than Greg Abbott. Joe Biden isn’t protecting America, but Texas and Gov. Abbott are stepping up.”
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre spoke to reporters Friday after DeSantis flew migrants to upscale Martha’s Vineyard before officials housed them at a military base on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
Jean-Pierre said Abbott and DeSantis reportedly lured asylum seekers, including children, onto planes and buses under false premises and then abandoned them.
“These were children. They were moms. They were fleeing communism. And what did Gov. DeSantis and Gov. Abbott do to them? They used them as political pawns. Treated them like chattel in a cruel, premeditated political stunt,” Jean-Pierre said.
Jean-Pierre said DeSantis did not warn Massachusetts authorities that migrant children were about to land on their doorstep in need of food and shelter and misled migrants about going to Boston and getting refuge and benefits.
“These are the kinds of tactics we see from smugglers in places like Mexico and Guatemala,” Jean-Pierre said. “And for what? A photo-op. Because these governors care about creating political theater (rather) than creating actual solutions to help folks who are fleeing communism, to help children, to help families. Instead, they want to do political stunts.”