After the Biden administration rejected Gov. Greg Abbott’s proposal last week to begin busing illegal migrants to Washington, D.C. in protest of lax border enforcement tactics, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has thrown down a gauntlet of sorts.
During a news conference last week, Texas’ Republican governor promised to begin busing illegal immigrants to the nation’s capital as part of a series of aggressive actions to regain control of the state’s border with Mexico. Abbott has long charged the Biden administration of failing to fully enforce the nation’s anti-illegal immigration policies, citing a record number of interactions since Biden entered office.
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Abbott is also among an increasing number of Republicans and Democrats who are dissatisfied with the administration’s decision to eliminate Title 42, which allowed border and immigration authorities to expel illegal migrants promptly as a method of limiting COVID-19 spread. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has stated that the regulation would be lifted on May 23.
“With the Biden administration discontinuing Title 42 expulsions in May, Texas will take unprecedented steps this month to do what no state in America has ever done in the history of the country to better defend our state and our country,” Abbott stated.
“To assist local leaders whose areas are being overrun by hordes of illegal immigrants being dropped off by the Biden administration, Texas is sending charter buses to transport these illegal immigrants to Washington, D.C.,” Abbott added. “We’re sending them to the White House, where the Biden administration will be able to meet the needs of the individuals they’re permitting to enter our border more quickly.”
Abbott also announced “increased public safety inspections” of cars crossing the border from Mexico into Texas at a number of points. The new regulation would “dramatically delay travel from Mexico into Texas,” according to the governor, but he believes it will be critical in trying to curtail cartel involvement in Texas.
The White House reacted angrily to this. “I think it’s quite evident that this is a PR gimmick,” press secretary Jen Psaki told Fox News’ Peter Doocy when questioned about Abbott’s commitment. “I am aware that the governor of Texas, or any other state, has no legal power to compel someone to board a bus.”
“His own office recognizes that a migrant must willingly be transferred, and he cannot compel them to do so because, once again, enforcement of our country’s immigration laws is the responsibility of the federal government, not a state,” she added.
Paxton, on the other hand, said on Saturday that he would push Abbott to keep his promise, adding that he disagreed with previous federal court rulings that placed primary responsibility for immigration enforcement with the federal government. According to Fox News, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has challenged the Biden administration to observe federal law.
Arizona v. the United States, a 2012 Supreme Court judgment, prohibits states from enacting their own immigration policy and is a “challenge” for Texas’ efforts, according to Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton. Nonetheless, he wants Texas to press through with busing migrants to Biden’s doorstep, and he hinted that the Supreme Court, which now has a firm 6-3 conservative majority, may take a fresh look at the matter.
“I believe that decision was made incorrectly,” Paxton said of the Arizona case on “Fox & Friends.” “So I’d urge the governor to send people out of our state and challenge us in federal court, then appeal to the United States Supreme Court.”
Paxton said he wasn’t daring the Biden administration to sue Texas in an interview with Fox News Digital on Saturday “I’m challenging them to abide by federal law. But why should the governor not be allowed to safeguard his state if they aren’t going to?” Paxton said he believes preparations are being made, but that actual transport to Washington, D.C., will not happen until next month to coincide with the revocation of Title 42, and that he would defer timetable issues to the governor.
Abbott’s office addressed busing logistics to the Texas Department of Transportation, which stated Paxton’s claims were “incorrect” and that the “operation is now ongoing.”
TDEM’s chief of media and communications, Seth Christensen, pointed Fox News Digital to the agency’s Friday statement, which noted that communities that had initially requested assistance “have now said that the federal government has stopped dropping migrants in their towns since the Governor’s announcement on Wednesday.”
Lt. Christopher Olivarez of the Texas Department of Public Safety told Fox News that the busing to Washington, D.C., will be done at the request of local towns in need of assistance.