Three buses filled with about 130 immigrants stopped and let their passengers off outside Vice President Kamala Harris’ official residence in Washington, D.C., on Christmas Eve evening. The buses were originally destined for New York, but rerouted to D.C. because of road closures and low temperatures, an aid worker told The New York Times.
“The White House is full of a bunch of hypocrites, led by the Hypocrite-in-Chief,” Abbott spokeswoman Renae Eze said in a statement, according to ABC News. “Instead of their hypocritical complaints about Texas providing much-needed relief to our overrun and overwhelmed border communities, President Biden and Border Czar Harris need to step up and do their jobs to secure the border — something they continue failing to do.”
The migrants “were processed and released by the federal government,” Eze said. Relocating the migrants from the Texas border to sanctuary cities is “providing much-needed relief to our overrun and overwhelmed border communities.”
El Paso, Texas, is one of the hardest hit communities of the border crisis. Dozens of homeless migrants have slept in the city’s streets in recent weeks because government and nonprofit facilities set up for migrant care are overcrowded. The city, which is operating its own bussing program to relocate migrants, paid for several buses to idle on the city’s streets over the holiday weekend for migrants to warm up during nights of freezing temperatures.
The White House had lashed out at Abbott on Christmas after the migrants were dropped off in front of the Naval Observatory.
“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 Times. “This was a cruel, dangerous and shameful stunt.”
“These political games accomplish nothing and only put lives in danger,” he added.
The Supreme Court is expected to make a ruling on Title 42 in the coming days, potentially allowing the Trump-era pandemic policy to end and spark a flood of migrants over the U.S. border.
Tens of thousands of migrants are currently staying in shelters on the Mexico side of the border. At least 22,000 migrants are staying in shelters in the Mexican border cities of Tijuana, Reynosa, and Matamoros, CNN reports.