Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Tuesday that his state has bused nearly 16,000 migrants to sanctuary cities in 2022.
Abbott shared the update in a Twitter post with details on the number of migrants sent to each of the four included cities.
“Texas has bused over 15,900 migrants to sanctuary cities,” Abbott tweeted.
Texas has bused over 15,900 migrants to sanctuary cities.
⁃ Over 8,900 to DC
⁃ Over 4,900 to NYC
⁃ Over 1,500 to Chicago
⁃ Over 630 to Philadelphia
We’re providing relief to local communities overwhelmed by President Biden’s open border policies.
— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) December 27, 2022
“We’re providing relief to local communities overwhelmed by President Biden’s open border policies,” he added.
The state has bused over 8,900 migrants bused to Washington, D.C., the highest number among the sanctuary cities, according to Abbott.
Abbott noted over 4,900 migrants who were bused to New York City, over 1,500 to Chicago, and over 630 to Philadelphia.
The governor’s busing program made headlines on Christmas Eve when three busloads of migrants arrived at the residence of Vice President Kamala Harris.
#HappeningNow the second bus of migrants has arrived here in D.C. near VP Kamala Harris’ home. They are boarding another bus taking them to a church. Was just told by someone helping bring them to the church that this bus came from Texas: pic.twitter.com/Sp4upqz1yB
— Christian Flores (@CFloresNews) December 25, 2022
The migrants, which reportedly included some women and children, were dropped off in cold temperatures before being picked up by another bus and taken to a local church for assistance.
“Governor Abbott abandoned children on the side of the road in below-freezing temperatures on Christmas Eve without coordinating with any federal or local authorities,” White House spokesman Abdullah Hasan said, according to the New York Times. “This was a cruel, dangerous and shameful stunt.”
The 15,900 people are an extremely small percentage of the migrants who have crossed the southern border during President Joe Biden’s time in office.
The El Paso, Texas, sector alone has reportedly experienced a recent surge of more than 2,400 migrants per day, marking a 40% increase over already high numbers in October, according to Reuters.
According to public data, more than 80,000 migrants have entered El Paso in the last four months.
A recent update from Abbott’s Operation Lone Star effort to address the border crisis noted 336,000 migrant apprehensions in Texas alone since it began in March 2021. The apprehensions have included more than 23,000 criminal arrests.
In addition, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has seized over 354 million lethal doses of fentanyl during the operation.
As of October, border officials came into contact with over 2 million migrants this fiscal year. Last fiscal year, that number was at 1.7 million.
Abbot sent a letter to Biden earlier this month to demand the deployment of federal assets in Texas ahead of the scheduled end of Title 42.
“These communities and the state are ill-equipped to do the job assigned to the federal government — house the thousands of migrants flooding into the country every day,” Abbott wrote.
“With perilous temperatures moving into the area, many of these migrants are at risk of freezing to death on city streets. The need to address this crisis is not the job of border states like Texas. Instead, the U.S. Constitution dictates that it is your job, Mr. President, to defend the borders of our country, regulate our nation’s immigration, and manage those who seek refuge here,” he added.
Title 42, a Trump-era policy that allows Border Patrol to turn away migrants to stop the spread of COVID-19, was later kept in place by the Supreme Court.
“We will, of course, comply with the order and prepare for the Court’s review,” a statement from White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre read following the Supreme Court’s decision. “At the same time, we are advancing our preparations to manage the border in a secure, orderly, and humane way when Title 42 eventually lifts and will continue expanding legal pathways for immigration.”