OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
The White House has officially responded to Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott’s pledge on Wednesday to begin bussing migrants caught illegally crossing into his state to Washington, D.C.
When she was asked about it on Thursday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki dismissed Abbott’s vow as a “publicity stunt.”
“I think it’s pretty clear that this is a publicity stunt,” Psaki told Fox News’ Peter Doocy. “I know that the governor of Texas, or any state, does not have the legal authority to compel anyone to get on a bus.”
Peter Doocy asks Psaki if the White House will find places to stay and something to do for the migrants Texas Gov. Abbott plans on bussing to DC. pic.twitter.com/WGSLHwG6XK
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) April 7, 2022
Continuing, she added, “His own office admits that a migrant would need to voluntarily be transported and he can’t compel them to because, again, enforcement of our country’s immigration laws lies with the federal government and not a state.”
On Wednesday, Abbott, at a press conference discussing the Biden administration’s decision to lift Title 42 next month, addressed fears that it would lead to new waves of tens of thousands of illegal migrant crossings in his state. In particular, the GOP governor laid out a number of specific steps his administration will be taking in order to deal with the expected surge — among them, bussing migrants to the nation’s capital.
“With the Biden administration ending Title 42 expulsions in May, Texas will be taking its own unprecedented actions this month to do what no state in America has ever done in the history of this country to better secure our state, as well as our nation,” Abbott said.
“To help local officials whose communities are being overwhelmed with hordes of illegal immigrants who are being dropped off by the Biden administration, Texas is providing charter buses to send these illegal immigrants who have been dropped off by the Biden administration to Washington, D.C.,” the governor continued.
“We are sending them to the United States capital where the Biden administration will be able to more immediately address the needs of the people that they are allowing to come across our border,” he noted further.
Abbott also announced “enhanced public safety inspection of vehicles” crossing from Mexico into Texas at ports of entry.
The new policy will necessarily “dramatically slow traffic from Mexico into Texas,” Abbott said, but he noted that the new process is necessary to curb cartel trafficking of humans and drugs flowing into the U.S. from Mexico via his state.
“Those two strategies are in addition to announcing the following actions to further deter illegal immigrants, including deploying boat blockades at appropriate regions in the Rio Grande River, deploying razor wire at low-water crossings in high traffic areas, creating container blockades to drive people away from low water crossings,” Abbott said, adding that he will be announcing more measures next week.
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), meanwhile, urged his state’s GOP governor, Doug Ducey, to follow Abbott’s lead and also vow to bus illegal migrants to D.C.
“@GregAbbott_TX‘s decision to transport illegal aliens from Texas to the steps of the U.S. Capitol is warranted,” Biggs wrote.
“The Biden regime and Dems sit comfortably in their DC offices as the border worsens,” he added. “It’s time they see reality. I call on @DougDucey to follow @GregAbbott_TX.”
.@GregAbbott_TX‘s decision to transport illegal aliens from Texas to the steps of the U.S. Capitol is warranted.
The Biden regime and Dems sit comfortably in their DC offices as the border worsens.
It’s time they see reality.
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) April 7, 2022
On Tuesday, the congressman addressed a press event in the nation’s capital, ripping the Biden administration’s decision to end Title 42, a Trump-era policy that allows federal authorities to turn away immigrants at the southern border to decrease the spread of COVID-19.
“The Biden Admin’s decision to lift the Title 42 public health order at the southern border is reckless and thoughtless,” Biggs posted on Twitter. “But make no mistake, it was purposeful.”