Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) recently made a splash by busing illegal aliens from his state to the nation’s capital. The move has been criticized by some voices across the political spectrum as a publicity stunt – which, to a large degree, it is. However, it is also a desperate attempt to turn the nation’s attention – and in particular the attention of the political class in Washington, D.C. – to the Biden Border Crisis. Texas is a key frontline state in the out-of-control illegal migration mess at the southern border and bears a disproportionate share of the burden. The situation will undoubtedly become even worse if the Biden administration fulfills its reckless plan to end Title 42 expulsions.
A press release issued by the Office of the Texas Governor described the migrant busing operation as “part of the state’s aggressive actions to secure the border in the wake of President Biden’s decision to end Title 42 expulsions.” Gov. Abbott, quoted in the same release, stated that “Thanks to the State of Texas, President Biden will be able to immediately meet the needs of migrants he is allowing to cross our border by busing them to his backyard By busing migrants to Washington, D.C., Texas is sending a clear message: we should not have to bear the burden of the federal government’s inaction to secure the border, and the Lone Star State will do whatever it takes to keep Texans safe.”
The promises sound much more aggressive than they are in reality. Gov. Abbott has sent 10 buses to D.C., consisting of illegal border crossers predominantly from Latin America and Africa. Upon the arrival of the eighth bus, the New York Post reported that a total of 152 illegal aliens were sent to Washington. So, although this number does not include the last two buses, we are likely talking about a final number in the low hundreds. Of course, that is barely a tiny drop in the bucket compared to the thousands of illegal migrants entering the U.S. on a daily basis, let alone the numbers being predicted if/when Title 42 is lifted.
Gov. Abbott and his administration also seems to have underestimated the degree to which open-borders activists would try to turn the tables on him (in a PR sense) and actually use this as an opportunity to virtue signal how supposedly compassionate and welcoming they are. Some taxpayers in D.C. and the surrounding Maryland and Virginia suburbs may not be particularly enthusiastic about having more illegal aliens shipped into the area. But both wealthy political elites and pro-illegal-alien activists – either too rich and sheltered to face the costs and consequences, or simply too ideologically devoted to care – certainly welcome the opportunity to feel good about themselves while thumbing their noses at the “mean” and “unwelcoming” Texas governor. In fact, the Biden administration has already been quietly dispersing illegal aliens across the United States, so Gov. Abbott is essentially using state tax dollars to help the administration with that mission.
There are more impactful things that Gov. Abbott could, and should, do to deter illegal aliens from coming to Texas. The foremost would be to implement mandatory statewide E-Verify, which would make it a lot harder for unauthorized foreign nationals to find work in the Lone Star state. Currently, only state employers and contractors are required to use the program. However, at the end of the day, immigration and border security are the responsibility of the federal government, which has been deliberately undermining its responsibility since President Biden took office. Making matters worse, the Biden administration intends to throw gasoline on an already raging fire by scrapping Title 42, which will unleash an even larger rush to the border and further exacerbate the crisis they have created. President Biden’s own advisors have warned him that ending Title 42 will lead to exponential increases in illegal migration. His apparent decision to ignore those warnings represents a grave dereliction of duty on the part of the president and his administration, a fact which the exasperated Texas governor’s migrant busing scheme is meant to bring attention to.