Everything is crueler in Texas.
Greg Abbott — the Republican governor who has dedicated his time in office to torching immigrant, reproductive, and LGBTQ rights — announced on Wednesday that he will provide charter buses to border communities to transport migrants to Washington, D.C.
“To help local officials whose communities are being overwhelmed by hordes of illegal immigrants who are being dropped off by the Biden administration, Texas is providing charter buses to send these illegal immigrants who have been dropped off by the Biden administration to Washington D.C.,” Abbott said. “We are sending them to the United States Capitol 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.”
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This seems like a joke, but Texas Division of Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd said the state plans to use over 900 buses for the operation, according to the Texas Tribune. Fox News reported that 900 is only an estimate, however, and that in reality the state will use “as many” buses “as needed” to carry undocumented immigrants nearly 2,000 miles to Washington.
Still, very little information about the logistics of how the operation will play out is available, and it’s certainly possible that it is indeed a stunt. We certainly wouldn’t put anything past Abbott, though, whose capacity for inhumanity is boundless.
The announcement is the latest, and perhaps cruelest, turn in Abbott’s relentless war against immigrants. The state’s energy infrastructure is crumbling to the point of collapse, but the governor has been laser-focused on petty culture wars — particularly his xenophobic war against migrants seeking asylum at the Southern border. The decision to use them as literal political pawns and put them on buses to Washington, D.C., comes in response to the Biden administration ending Title 42, a Trump-era measure giving the government more authority to turn away immigrants, under the guise they they pose a Covid-19 risk. Public health experts have roundly rejected the premise.
Abbott has long been wasting his state’s resources on border theatrics, most recently through the beleaguered Operation Lone Star. The project — in which the National Guard was deployed to the border, supposedly to deter drug cartels — has been exposed as a sham rife with corruption. Texas has already appropriated nearly $4 billion to Operation Lone Star, and the general who’s running the National Guard’s presence at the border said yesterday that it needs another half a billion to keep running beyond the end of the month.
Raices Texas, the state’s largest nonprofit advocating for immigrant rights, responded on Twitter shortly after the announcement on Wednesday. “We see what you are doing here, and it’s disgusting,” they wrote. “Greg Abbott is trying to Make Texas White Again.”
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