The intense political fight over the Biden administration’s immigration policies dumped off two buses of migrants from the U.S.-Mexico border near Vice President Kamala Harris’ residence in suburban Washington on Thursday morning. Because he believes too many people are crossing the border into his state, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has been busing migrants out of Texas to communities with Democratic mayors as part of a political campaign this year.
Doug Ducey, the governor of Arizona, and Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, have adopted this approach. Donald Trump, a previous president, had the original idea. We’re sending migrants to her backyard to call on the Biden Administration to do its job & secure the border, Abbott tweeted after the buses arrived on Thursday.
Before going to a neighboring church, around two dozen men and women stood outside the U.S. Naval Observatory before dawn, clutching the clear plastic bags containing the things they had brought with them across the border. Harris’s staff was unable to comment right away.
They formed A coalition of NGOs to handle the new arrivals, supported by a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency after Mayor Muriel Bowser called for federal assistance in response to the constant flow of migrant buses. This group has become accustomed to the Texas and Arizona buses’ dramatically different levels of coordination.
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According to Tatiana Laborde, general director of the international relief organization SAMU First Response, the buses from Arizona have medical personnel on board and detailed manifests of the passengers’ nationalities. They also have coordinated arrival timings. Earlier this month, Laborde told The Associated Press, “They don’t want just to dump people here.”
She noted that the Texas buses came in disarray. They only learn that a bus carrying a specific number of people has left from philanthropic organizations in Texas. That bus eventually drops off passengers at Washington’s Union Station nearly 48 hours later. The unexpected delivery outside Harris’ house on Thursday morning implies that governors like Abbott were looking for novel methods to make their political points, using the District of Columbia as the arena.
The League of United Latin American Citizens’ president, Domingo Garcia, referred to the action as “inhumane” and charged Abbott with “using human individuals, babies, and families as political pinatas.” Garcia told reporters in front of Harris’ house on Thursday that the two busloads of immigrants from Texas had been “dumped like human garbage” in the nation’s capital.
Additionally, he claimed that many migrants were “tricked into signing these releases,” which has been refuted by the governments of Texas and Arizona. He also urged officials from the Republican and Democratic parties to unite behind “a bipartisan plan to solve our dysfunctional immigration system. I concur that it is flawed.
After crossing the border between the United States and Mexico, individuals who are requesting asylum must wait until their cases are resolved in the United States before being released. Democrats contend that the Trump administration’s strategy of making refugees wait out their asylum hearings in Mexico was cruel. At the same time, Republicans claim that Biden’s policies encourage migrants to disappear into the United States.
On Wednesday, DeSantis sent two planeloads of immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard. Abbott also dispatched roughly 75 migrants to Chicago last week. The National Guard deployment that Bowser requested was denied by the Pentagon; the NGOs opposed the deployment, calling it an unwarranted militarization of a humanitarian crisis.
In response to the migrant crisis, Bowser issued a limited state of public emergency last week and suggested creating a new Office of Migrant Services with $10 million in financing. The D.C. Council will hear the idea the following week.