Texas’ right-wing governor has spent $14 million in state taxpayer funds to send more than 10,000 migrants to New York, Illinois, and the nation’s capital. The political stunt’s purpose is to use human beings as retribution against the Biden administration for trying to wind down ineffective policy implemented by white supremacist Stephen Miller.
But some migrants have said they’ve actually appreciated the bus rides, which aid in helping them reunite with relatives who are already here. Advocates also say that it’s brought organizations aiding asylum-seekers and other migrants closer together.
RELATED STORY: Illinois welcomes migrants bused by Texas, says families must be treated with 'dignity and respect'
“What used to be a very specific borderland issue, now, because of Gov. Abbott’s initial response—his tactics of busing migrants to other parts of the country—has actually brought us into closer contact with colleagues in other communities,” Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center executive director Marisa Limon Garza tells Border Report.
Borderland organizations have long carried out the initial work aiding migrants who have already been processed by U.S. immigration officials, helping with food, temporary shelter, and more recently, COVID-19 vaccinations. But Border Report said New York City officials who have been receiving individuals and families sent via the Texas stunt have met with borderland advocates “to better understand the needs of the migrants getting off buses the Texas governor put them in so they can address those needs.”
“You can believe we are going to start seeing more of a network of support that, yes, is connected to the border, but it’s not going to be us being the only group carrying the water,” Limon continued in the report. “Instead, it will be more organizations, more municipalities, and governments taking a concerted effort to work together in a humanitarian response to meet the needs of people on the move.”
Treating human beings like human beings must be a strange concept for Greg Abbott. While he has claimed that the busing is entirely voluntary, New York City officials said they believed some migrants were forcibly moved. Illinois officials also say Abbott’s office has been “wholly uncooperative,” and that’s on purpose. Abbott and his complicit staffers want chaos and cruelty, shipping people like animals with no concern if there’s anything waiting for them at the end of the ride:
In a statement, the office of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said that the city had worked across various departments and agencies to ensure migrants were met with “dignity and respect,” adding that the office understood “many are fleeing violent, traumatic, or otherwise unstable environments.” The statement correctly noted that “Abbott is without any shame or humanity,” and called his busing a “racist” practice of “expulsion.”
In his statement welcoming migrants, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said, “Immigrants just like my family, seeking freedom and opportunity, built this country. Illinois is and has always been a welcoming state.” He said his office was “working with federal and city officials to ensure that these individuals are treated with respect and safety as they look to connect with their family and friends.”
El Paso’s KTSM reports that Texas has paid more than $14 million—and counting—to Wynne Transportation, “an Irving-based company that has reviews describing it as a ‘first class service.’” The report said that costs have come to more than $1,700 per person, vastly more expensive than other alternatives like Greyhound. “An economy one-way ticket from Del Rio to Chicago, for example, would cost $166,” the report said. “A ticket from Eagle Pass to N.Y.C. costs $228, and a one-way from Laredo to D.C. costs $321.”
“All of the state’s trips are being funded mostly by Texas taxpayer dollars, coming from money appropriated by the Texas Legislature for border security under Operation Lone Star.” That racist scheme, currently costing state taxpayers at least $2 billion, makes a $1,700 bus ticket look like chump change.
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'New York is a sanctuary': New Yorkers welcome children and adults used as human props by Abbott
Greg Abbott's stunt of busing asylum-seekers from Texas to D.C. has cost $1.6 million and counting
Some migrants bused to D.C. by Greg Abbott have a message he maybe wasn't expecting: Thanks