Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Wednesday that immigrants who have crossed the border into his state illegally will 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.
''I hereby direct the Texas Office of Emergency Management to begin coordinating the transportation of illegal aliens to Washington, D.C.,'' Abbott, a Republican, said in a letter signed at a televised news conference Wednesday to state Office of Emergency Management Chief W. Nim Kidd.
The move, which Abbott called ''unprecedented'' in U.S. history, is one of several unilateral actions the state is taking to curb illegal immigration along the border, Abbott said.
''It is the Biden administration that caused this open border problem,'' Abbott said. ''The Biden administration's policies have led to a record number of illegal immigrants crossing into the United States.''
Abbott said the state is bracing for an anticipated surge in illegal immigration with the expected end of Title 42 health deportations put in place in March 2020 by then-President Donald Trump's administration at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said Department of Homeland Security is preparing for more than 18,000 more daily encounters with immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally once Title 42 apprehensions end in May, which could mean more than 500,000 per month.
Abbott said busing these immigrants to Washington will be used to counter the Biden administration practice of ''dumping'' large numbers of them into Texas cities such as San Antonio, forcing the local government to provide for their needs.
Kidd, who attended the press conference, said that the state has used some 900 buses in the past for evacuations during disasters and will use them to implement the governor's directive starting Thursday morning.
''We will use as many buses as we need to follow the governor's direction to get this done,'' Kidd said.
In addition to transporting illegal immigrants to the Capitol, Abbott directed the Department of Public Safety to conduct safety inspections of commercial vehicles coming across international ports of entry to ensure they comply with the state's vehicle safety regulations.
He said those vehicles are often used to smuggle immigrants into the state illegally and are dangerous to not only the people being smuggled, but also to Texas residents.
The state will also use its National Guard units to form blockades on the Rio Grande to try to block illegal entry into the state, as well as using razor wire to block off access in shallower sections of the water.
This, Abbott said, is just the first round of actions the state plans to take, and more will be announced next week.
Abbott, who is seeking reelection, faces former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, a Democrat, and two independent candidates in the Nov. 8 general election, according to Ballotpedia.
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