Photo: Nick Wagner/Xinhua via Getty Images.
Abbott’s migrant transport program to continue. Photo: Nick Wagner/Xinhua via Getty Images.

‘Thousands more’ migrants to be bussed out of Texas this week, says Gov. Greg Abbott


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After what was a deadly weekend for Texas — and an overall tragic month — Texas Governor Greg Abbott delivered his first public address on Monday, May 8, that focused entirely on immigration and President Joe Biden as opposed to the over 16 casualties that occurred on state grounds over the course of Saturday and Sunday. 

Abbott then revealed that the state would be transporting “thousands more” migrants to Democratic strongholds, continuing a practice that has led to tens of thousands of migrants being flown and bussed to cities over the last year such as New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago. In Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot urged Abbott to stop, saying the city does not have the resources to take on more busloads of migrants.

There, over 8,000 migrants have arrived since August 2022. City officials say daily arrivals have increased “tenfold” since mid-April with shelter quickly becoming an issue.

Lightfoot said in a letter to Abbott in April that migrants have arrived “in dire need of food, water, and clothing” and blasted the Texas Governor for using the migrants as political pawns.

“I know by your actions that you either do not see or do not care about the trauma these migrants have already faced and continue to suffer under the humanitarian crisis you have created,” she wrote. “But I beseech you anyway: treat these individuals with the respect and dignity that they deserve.”

New York City Mayor Eric Adams has expressed similar sentiments in recent times. Most, if not all, migrant transportations were never communicated to local officials in the destination cities.

Adams said Biden had “failed” the city on immigration. New York, Adams said, “is being destroyed by the migrant crisis,” he said in April. 

Over 57,000 migrants — mostly from Latin America — have arrived in New York since Spring of 2022. Many of which were sent by conservative states like Texas, where Abbott chartered as many as eight buses a day to carry migrants to NYC. 

Last Christmas Eve, three buses of migrant families arrived from Texas near the D.C. residence of Vice President Kamala Harris in record-low winter temperatures. 

It prompted Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to call it out during a press conference Monday, in which he also denounced Florida’s newest sweeping immigration bill set to be signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis. 

“Then, in an inhumane, vulgar and vile way, they started to take migrants while it was cold to New York, to Washington, to the vice president’s house,” López Obrador said. “The Republicans did this … something that degrades them from a moral, human point of view.”

Abbott spoke at Austin Bergstrom International Airport in Austin and announced the deployment of a new Tactical Border Force to the Texas-Mexico in response to the court-ordered lift on the Trump-era policy, Title 42, this Thursday, May 11. 

He was joined at the press conference by Texas Border Czar Mike Banks, Adjutant General of the Texas Military Department Major General Thomas Suelzer, and Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw. 

“With the ending of Title 42 on Thursday, President Biden is laying down the welcome mat to people across the entire world, but Texas is deploying our new Texas Tactical Border Force,” said Abbott. 

“The Texas Tactical Border Force will bolster our Operation Lone Star efforts to secure the Texas border amid the chaos caused by President Biden’s elimination of Title 42,” he added. 

Abbott argued he’d be bettering border security efforts with the deployment of hundreds of state National Guard soldiers to join the thousands already deployed as part of Operation Lone Star — the governor’s border security program that has resulted in hundreds of thousands of migrant apprehensions since March 2021. 

“The cartels are working in collaboration with President [Joe] Biden and the federal government to facilitate that illegal cross-border,” Abbott said. “We are being overrun by our own federal government. Texas is being undermined by our own federal government in our efforts to secure our border.”

Monday’s announcement means it’s the third phase of Abbott’s increased border security mission with Title 42 soon expiring. 

The first completed phase was the shifting of Texas National Guard soldiers and assets, such as drone teams and razor wire barriers, to different places along the Texas-Mexico border. A second phase was implemented with the creation of two reaction forces composed of military police units, one in El Paso and one deployed today from San Antonio to the Rio Grande Valley. 

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