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Texas Gov. Abbott sends more buses to border to move illegal foreign nationals north

"President Biden's continued refusal to secure our border invites thousands of illegal crossings into Texas and our nation each day," Gov. Abbott said on Friday.

Published: September 23, 2023 11:53pm

(The Center Square) -

On Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott announced he directed even more buses to key border communities to move illegal border crossers north who've been released into local communities by the Biden administration.

He directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to deploy additional buses to Eagle Pass and El Paso, border communities being hard hit by 10,000 illegal border crossers in just a few days this week.

"President Biden's continued refusal to secure our border invites thousands of illegal crossings into Texas and our nation each day," Gov. Abbott said on Friday. "Texas communities like Eagle Pass and El Paso should not have to shoulder the unprecedented surge of illegal immigration caused by President Biden's reckless open border policies. I have directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management to deploy additional buses to send these migrants to self-declared sanctuary cities and provide much-needed relief to our overrun border towns. Until President Biden upholds his constitutional duty to secure America's southern border, Texas will continue to deploy as many buses as needed to relieve the strain caused by the surge of illegal crossings."

Buses in El Paso and Eagle Pass were activated in addition to the state's ongoing bus operations in Brownsville, Del Rio, Laredo, and McAllen.

Gov. Abbott began the busing strategy in April 2022, when he first directed TDEM to charter transportation for illegal border crossers whom Abbott argues were unlawfully released into local communities by the Biden administration. Transportation is voluntary and free to illegal foreign nationals; it costs Texas taxpayers millions of dollars. Governors in Arizona, both Republican and Democratic, followed Abbott's lead and began sending buses of border-crossing nationals to states north of the border.

Adults must sign a waiver for themselves and minors under their care, provide their DHS documentation, and choose which of the six self-described sanctuary cities they want to go to. Texas border mayors and county judges have been instructed to notify TDEM of any DHS-facilitated drop-off in their communities so the agency can help move out people out of Texas.

Since April 2022, when Abbott's busing strategy began, Texas has bused nearly 12,000 people to Washington, D.C. Since August 2022, Texas has bused nearly 15,000 to New York City and nearly 9,000 to Chicago. Since November 2022, Texas has bused over 3,000 people to Philadelphia.

This year, he expanded the busing strategy to two additional self-described sanctuary cities. Since May, Texas has bused over 1,600 people to Denver and 610 migrants to Los Angeles since June.

The busing strategy is part of Gov. Abbott's border security mission, Operation Lone Star. The primary focus of OLS, Gov. Abbott says, is to "secure the border; stop the smuggling of drugs, weapons, and people into Texas; and prevent, detect, and interdict transnational criminal activity between ports of entry." The Texas legislature has allocated roughly $10 billion over two legislative sessions to fund OLS.

Since OLS was launched in early 2021, as of Sept. 22, OLS officers have apprehended over 457,500 illegal foreign nationals. They've made more than 34,400 criminal arrests, with more than 31,300 felony charges reported. They've also seized over 429 million lethal doses of fentanyl, enough to kill more than the entire populations of the U.S. and Canada combined.

"Every individual who is apprehended or arrested and every ounce of drugs seized would have otherwise made their way into communities across Texas and the nation due to President Joe Biden's open border policies," Gov. Abbott says.

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