By DEWEY LEWIS
Three buses carrying migrants from Texas arrived in Washington, D.C. late Saturday evening, including one which dropped its passengers near the home of Vice President Kamala Harris.
The U.S. Naval Observatory (USNO) is the official residence of the Vice President of the United States and the Christmas Eve drop-off is the latest of several instances in which Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has bussed migrants to Washington, D.C.
The migrants were then helped by the Migrant Solidarity Mutual Aid Network and taken to a local church, according to 7News reporter Christian Flores.
Gov. Abbott began sending migrants from border cities to the nation’s capital in April, in an effort to pressure the Biden administration to take action on immigration enforcement and border security. This practice has been widely criticized.
In a letter Abbott sent to President Biden on Tuesday, the Texas governor cited freezing temperatures in cities like El Paso as his reason to transport the migrants as migrant housing facilities already at capacity have been forced to release people outside onto the streets.
“Your policies will leave many people in the bitter, dangerous cold as a polar vortex moves into Texas,” Abbott wrote. “Texas has borne a lopsided burden caused by your open border policies.”
The Republican also called the current border crisis a “catastrophe” for which Biden was solely responsible.
“This terrible crisis for border communities in Texas is a catastrophe of your own making,” he wrote. “The need to address this crisis is not the job of border states like Texas. Instead, the U.S. Constitution dictates that it is your job, Mr. President, to defend the borders of our country, regulate our nation’s immigration, and manage those who seek refuge here,” he added.
Abbott also warned that the situation would only get worse when the federal government ends the Title 42 policy — which restricts the number of migrants allowed to enter the U.S.
The Department of Homeland Security projects between 9,000 and 15,000 migrant encounters a day once the policy ends, a surge that would add to the already highest annual total of encounters in U.S. history.
Earlier this month, a bus from Texas carrying about 30 Nicaraguan migrants dropped its passengers outside Harris’s residence.
In September, several buses dropped off about 100 migrants outside the residence.
“Our supposed Border Czar, Vice President Kamala Harris, has yet to even visit the border to see firsthand the impact of the open border policies she has helped implement, even going so far as to claim the border is ‘secure,’ ” Abbott said at the time. “Texas will continue sending migrants to sanctuary cities like Washington, D.C., until President Biden and Border Czar Harris step up and do their jobs to secure the border.”
Earlier Saturday, the Department of Homeland Security released a statement discouraging migrants from illegally entering the U.S. and said immigration personnel would expel them under Title 42.
“The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) continues to fully enforce our immigration and public health laws at the border. Individuals and families attempting to enter without authorization are being expelled, as required by court order under the Title 42 public health authority, or placed into removal proceedings,” the statement read. “As temperatures remain dangerously low all along the border, no one should put their lives in the hands of smugglers, or risk life and limb attempting to cross only to be returned.”
Regardless of nationality, anyone attempting to enter without authorization is subject to expulsion under Title 42,” it added. “Those who cannot be expelled pursuant to Title 42 may be placed in expedited removal and anyone ordered removed subject to a bar on entry for 5 years under Title 8. Venezuelans attempting to enter the United States between ports of entry also continue to be returned to Mexico, and will be barred from the Venezuela Migration Enforcement Process announced in October.”
And: “DHS continues to lead a whole of government strategy to secure the borders and build safe, orderly, and humane immigration processes.”
The statement said there are 23,000 border patrol agents and officers working to secure the U.S.-Mexico border and the federal government was working closely with the government of Mexico to reduce human smuggling organizations and bring perpetrators to justice.
“That collaboration includes migration checkpoints, additional resources and personnel, joint targeting of human smuggling organizations, and expanded information sharing related to transit nodes, hotels, stash houses, and staging locations,” the DHS said.
Abbott has also bussed migrants from Texas to other Democratic-controlled cities of Chicago and Philadelphia.