The first bus carrying migrants from Texas rolled into Washington, D.C., Wednesday morning, and the White House thanked the state for “helping them get to their final destination.”
Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott announced last week that the state will provide transportation for migrants who volunteer to go to the nation’s capital. Migrants from Columbia, Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua took the 30-hour bus trip that Abbott says is due to the Biden administration’s failure to secure the southern border.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki thanked Abbott at a press conference and said it was “nice” of the state to “help.” The administration, however, has repeatedly called the governor’s plan a “publicity stunt” and Psaki says she does not know what authority allows Abbott to transport the migrants.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced recently the rollback of Title 42, a rule put in place by the Trump White House and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The public health measure allowed Border Patrol to immediately send migrants back across the border without standard processing.
This in turn supplied agents with a tool to quickly address the surge of immigrants, and officials say over 1.7 million attempts to cross the border were stopped. However, the rule’s rescencion on May 23 means literally hundreds of thousands are anticipated to flood the southern border and overwhelm officials there.
Homeland Security’s own estimates are of as many as 18,000 encounters with migrants per day, and nearly 200,000 are reportedly camped on the Mexican side of the border awaying the policy change.
The newly-arrived migrants describe being treated well on the buses, and Catholic Charities DC is providing them with food assistance and medical care. The organization says it has also purchased bus tickets for migrants to continue to other cities.
The arrival of the first bus from Texas is only the tip of the spear as the border crisis partially caused by ending Title 42 nears. Publicity stunt or not, the Biden administration can hardly expect states to quietly deal with its own policy disasters, and Texas is simply proving that point.