(The Center Square) – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is pushing back against complaints made by Democratic mayors who are complaining about Texas busing illegal immigrants to the so-called sanctuary cities of New York City and Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser claimed that Abbott is “tricking” foreign nationals who’ve entered the U.S. illegally by transporting them to Washington, D.C.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams called Abbott a “coward,” saying, “our country is home of the free, land of the brave. We do not become cowards and send people away who are looking for help.”
But Abbott responded to both separately, saying their criticisms were misdirected and should instead be focused on President Joe Biden's border policies.
Texas has so far bused 5,500 people to Washington, D.C., only, Abbott clarified.
"Texas has not bused any migrants to New York. Instead, it is President Biden who has flown planeloads of migrants to New York," Abbott said. "Mayor Adams should address his frustration with migrants to the root cause: Joe Biden.
“Mayor Adams' problem is not with Texas,” he emphasized. “It is with President Biden's refusal to stop this border crisis and secure our southern border. President Biden’s open border policies created this ongoing humanitarian crisis, allowing record-high illegal crossings and deadly drugs like fentanyl to flood into our state. A crisis that has overrun and overwhelmed our border towns and communities across our state, whose requests for help have gone ignored and unanswered by the Biden Administration.”
Washington, D.C., doesn’t have the resources to deal with the roughly 100 people arriving a day and its homeless shelters are full, Bowser says.
But Texas is dealing with between 2,000 and 3,000 people arriving a day, Abbott said.
After Bowser criticized Abbott, Adams held a news conference saying the influx of people was “a real burden on New Yorkers as we’re trying to do the right thing. We already have an overburdened shelter system so now we’re talking about food, clothing, school. This is going to impact our schools because we do not turn away individuals because they are undocumented. There’s just a whole host of things that this is going to produce and that’s why we need help.”
The Center Square has previously reported that many people coming from other countries are coming because they say they’ve been told by the Biden administration that they will be granted asylum, even though they may not qualify for it according to U.S. immigration law.
One Venezuelan man who was released into the U.S. illegally by the Biden administration told CNBC News that he was “in a good place” living in Venezuela and he wouldn’t have “gone through that journey” to enter the U.S. illegally if he knew he would have ended up on the streets in Washington, D.C.
Abbott’s spokesperson Renea Eze told The Center Square, “President Biden’s open border policies have created an ongoing humanitarian crisis, with record-high illegal crossings and deadly drugs like fentanyl flooding into our state. … With our nation’s capital now experiencing a fraction of the disaster created by President Biden’s reckless open border policies that our state faces every single day, maybe he’ll finally do his job and secure the border.”
Abbott launched Operation Lone Star last March to thwart criminal activity coming through the Texas/Mexico border, including the smuggling and trafficking of people, drugs and weapons. Multiple officers in law enforcement are also actively working to prevent, detect, and interdict transnational criminal behavior occurring between ports of entry.
Since OLS launched, Texas’ multi-agency effort has led to the apprehension of more than 284,000 foreign nationals entering Texas illegally, the arrest of more than 17,400 people, and the issuance of more than 14,800 felony charges.
New York City and Washington, D.C. are also not dealing with the level of cartel-related crime that Texas is, Abbott said.
Most recently, members of Tactical Air Control Party Texas and Texas National Guard eradicated a drug smuggling operation in a 30,000-acre area, for example. Roughly a dozen TACP airmen were responsible for interdicting more than 350 foreign nationals who’d illegally entered Texas, 34 human smugglers, and more than 800 pounds of marijuana during the course of their several month operation.
The soldiers worked through limited cell phone reception in the remote area, the governor’s office said, which impeded their ability to communicate and relay tactical information to mission partners, Border Patrol, and DPS. But, using cutting-edge technology from the Texas Military Department, his office said, airmen were able to create their own communication network using satellites. This allowed them to coordinate and respond to illegal activity along the border within minutes.
“What these airmen have been able to accomplish in five months is remarkable,” U.S. Air Force Capt. Andres Cepeda said. “At the end of the day, this is our community, and we are effecting change, taking drugs off the street and stopping human trafficking. It feels awesome.”