A bus from Texas carrying dozens of illegal immigrants arrived in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday morning, allowing passengers to disembark just blocks away from the U.S. Capitol, according to a Fox News report.
Governor Greg Abbott (R-Texas) announced last week that he directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to “charter buses and flights to transport migrants who have been processed and released from federal custody to Washington, D.C.,” in response to the Biden administration’s plan to rescind Title 42.
But critics on both the left and right were quick to slam the Texas governor’s plan as a “publicity stunt” and “gimmick” when they found out that illegal immigrants “must volunteer” and “show documentation from DHS” to be transported to the Capitol.
Press secretary Jen Psaki said “I think it’s pretty clear this is a publicity stunt” when asked what the Biden administration planned to do in response to Gov. Abbott’s initiative. “His own office admits that a migrant would need to voluntarily be transported, and then he can’t compel them to because, again, enforcement of our country’s immigration laws lies with the federal government and not a state,” she added.
Even Republican state Rep. Matt Schaefer called the plan a “gimmick” in a tweet shortly after Abbott’s press conference announcing his plan.
Nevertheless, a bus from the Del Rio sector in Texas reportedly pulled up just blocks away from the U.S. Capitol building around 8 a.m. local time on Wednesday, to drop off dozens of immigrants said to be from Colombia, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela.
“In the last 24 hours, TDEM has dispatched buses to areas where communities have expressed concerns about the federal government dropping off migrants and has the capability to send as many as is necessary to fulfill the requests from mayors and county judges,” Seth Christensen, chief of media and communications for TDEM, told Fox News.
“From the [Rio Grande Valley] to Terrell County, a large majority of the communities that originally reached out for support through this operation have now said that the federal government has stopped dropping migrants in their towns since the governor’s announcement on Wednesday,” Christensen added.
A tweet from Gov. Abbott’s account on Wednesday boasted, “First Texas bus drops off illegal immigrants blocks from US Capitol in Washington, DC. Biden refuses to come see the mess he’s made at the border. So Texas is bringing the border to him.”
Naturally, the reception on social media was mixed:
Here are more details as reported by Fox News:
First Texas bus drops off migrants blocks from US Capitol in Washington, DC