The first bus of undocumented immigrants from Texas arrived in Washington, D.C. Wednesday as part of Gov. Greg Abbott’s response to the Biden administration’s immigration policy.
Abbott first announced the plan last week during a news conference after the Biden administration indicated the end of Title 42, a federal provision invoked that allowed federal agents to quickly expel undocumented immigrants due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In response, Abbott announced the busing initiative, which offers migrants voluntary rides to Washington on a charter bus paid for by the state of Texas. Each bus can take roughly 40 migrants, according to the Texas Division of Emergency Management. The first bus to arrive had migrants from Colombia, Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, according to the governor’s office.
A second bus is en route to the nation’s capital as well, Abbott said.
Though Abbott celebrated the busing strategy, another part of his immigration response has drawn bipartisan scrutiny.
Abbott’s plan to have Texas DPS troopers set up inspection checkpoints for commercial traffic along the border, even though the trucks are already inspected by Customs and Border Protection officials. The secondary inspections, which Abbott said was necessary to stop drug and human smuggling, have led to massive delays.
White House officials blasted the initiative, calling it “unnecessary and redundant.”
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, a fellow Republican, also called on Abbott to end the inspections.
“Your inspection protocol is not stopping illegal immigration,” Miller said in an open letter to the governor. “It is stopping food from getting to grocery store shelves and in many cases causing food to rot in trucks — many of which are owned by Texas and other American companies.”
As a result of the long wait times at the border, protests have spread on the Mexico side of the bridge, halting international trade at times.
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