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Abbott’s buses have cost taxpayers serious money.
Abbott’s buses have cost taxpayers serious money. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Gov. Greg Abbott’s migrant transportation has cost Texas taxpayers over $29 million in less than a year

Public records first obtained by Insider reveal that since April 2022, the program has cost nearly $30 million, and just shy of $9 million over the holidays.

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Since April 2022, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has been busing migrants, as part of Operation Lone Star, to Democratic sanctuary cities. It started with New York, Chicago, and most recently Philadelphia has begun receiving buses. 

It has resulted in the transportation of over tens of thousands of migrants. 

It is the GOP governor’s revenge stunt against President Joe Biden and his administration over Abbott’s perceived lack of attentiveness on the part of the president to the border crisis. 

If Abbott is happily doing away with the tens of thousands of migrants coming into his state, it must mean that he is comfortable with the cost of it. 

But if he is comfortable with it, Texans may not be when they hear the figures. 

Public records obtained by Insider reveal that Abbott’s program has cost the Texas Division of Emergency Management and taxpayers, since it began in April 2022, roughly $29 million. As well as a staggering $8.97 million over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. 

Communications Director for Abbott, Renae Eze, came out in a statement, justifying its cost to the public. 

​​"The real cost to consider is that on the small Texas border towns that are burdened and overwhelmed as the Biden Administration dumps migrants into their communities," Eze said in a statement.

But all one ever hears from voters during election years is that they want to know where their money is going. Yet, not ever questioning the $30 million needed to bus immigrants. 

It’s an aspect that Domingo Garcia, president of the League of United Latin American Citizens, or LULAC, has brought up on multiple occasions. 

"Instead of going for schools, scholarships, things that will improve the lives of Texans, here's the governor of Texas spending $20 million for a political stunt, using immigrants as political piñatas," Garcia told Dallas outlet, WFAA. 

According to Abbott’s website, since the launch of Operation Lone Star, it has led to more than 342,000 migrant apprehensions and over 23,000 criminal arrests, with 21,000 felony charges reported.

Texas has also transported over 9,100 migrants to D.C. since April 2022 — that includes dropping a few busloads of migrants on the doorsteps of Vice President Kamala Harris’ home. 

Over 5,200 migrants have been bussed to New York City since Aug. 5, more than 1,500 migrants to Chicago since Aug. 31, and over 890 migrants to Philadelphia since Nov. 15. 

Tensions between the governor and the president reached a new high recently during Biden’s visit to the border, his first trip to the southern border since being sworn into office in 2021. 

Abbott hand-delivered a letter to Biden on the tarmac at the El Paso International Airport, that laid out five specific actions to take to secure the border. 

"This chaos is the direct result of your failure to enforce the immigration laws that Congress enacted," reads the letter. 

"Your open-border policies have emboldened the cartels, who grow wealthy by trafficking deadly fentanyl and even human beings. Texans are paying an especially high price for your failure, sometimes with their very lives, as local leaders from your own party will tell you if given the chance,” he adds. 

Gov. Abbott held his third consecutive inauguration address this past Tuesday, Jan. 17, and the GOP official emphasized that the legislative session would be focused on the budget surplus, “parental rights” in schools and public safety. 

He made sure to address schools, saying they should be “for education, not indoctrination” adding that they should get “back to teaching our students the fundamentals.” 

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