Gov. Greg Abbott, R-Texas, has asked Texans to help fund his initiative of sending migrants from the southern border to Washington, D.C.
Abbott appeared on Fox News this past weekend and asked Texans to contribute their own money to pay for the bus trips to the nation's capital, The Texas Tribune reported Thursday.
The Tribune reported that as of Thursday, the state-hosted website accepting funds for the transportation listed the donation total as $63,973.
In a statement to Tribune on Wednesday, Abbott's press secretary, Renae Eze, said the idea to crowdsource came after the governor's office received calls from supporters wanting to contribute.
"After Gov. Abbott announced his plan to bus migrants to President Biden's backyard in Washington, D.C., we received an outpouring of support from across our state and the entire country of people wanting to help and donate to the operation," Eze told the Tribune.
"Texas continues stepping up to help our local partners and protect Texans — it's time for President Biden and Congress to step up and do their job to secure our border."
Abbott's vow to send migrants from the southern border to Washington, D.C., became reality April 13, when the first bus arrived in the nation's capital.
"Securing the border would cost Texas nothing if the federal government was doing its job but because Joe Biden is not securing the border, the state of Texas is having to step up and spend Texas taxpayer money doing the federal government's job," Abbott said at the time.
A week earlier, Abbott said that migrants who had crossed the border would be bused to the steps of the U.S. Capitol as one of several measures designed to stem the tide of illegal crossings into his state, especially in anticipation of the Biden administration's plan to end Title 42 deportations by May.
The governor said at the time the trips would be paid for by Texas taxpayers.
The New York Times reported Tuesday about 200 migrants had been transported from the southern border to Washington, D.C.
The migrants came voluntarily and formed only a fraction of the thousands crossing the U.S.-Mexico border daily, the Times said.
Critics have said Abbott's plan to bus migrants to Washington using taxpayer dollars was misuse of public funds.
"Congratulations to Governor Abbott," Rep. Gene Wu, D-Texas, tweeted Tuesday. "Word will be passed from community to community that if you can just get to Texas, the Governor there will pay for your transportation anywhere in the USA."
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