The White House struck a dismissive tone on Thursday in response to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's vow that his state would begin busing illegal immigrants to the U.S. Capitol, The Hill reported.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters in a Thursday press briefing that the threat by Texas' Republican governor amounted to nothing more than a ''publicity stunt.''
''I'm not aware of what authority the governor would be doing that under. I think it's pretty clear this is a publicity stunt,'' Psaki said.
''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, not a state,'' she added.
Abbott had announced the plan a day before to send immigrants who have entered Texas illegally into President Joe Biden's backyard via bus and plane, provided that they comply voluntarily and have been released by the Department of Homeland Security, according to The Texas Tribune.
''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,'' Abbott said at a press conference, according to The Washington Post.
The move was in response to the Biden administration's decision to stop enforcing Section 265 of U.S. Code Title 42, a rule that permits the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to limit immigration in the interest of protecting public health.
The rule has been in effect since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and is now slated to end May 23, USA Today reported.
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