Psaki condemns Texas Gov. Abbott’s “publicity stunt” of busing immigrants into DC


The White House on Thursday called Texas Gov. Greg Abbott a “publicity stunt” over his announced plan to ferry illegal immigrants caught entering the United States to Washington, DC

Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked during her daily briefing what preparations the administration has made to find shelters for migrants after Abbott announced the initiative in response to the planned Title 42 health agency removal next month.

“I don’t know under what authority the governor would do that. I think it’s pretty clear that this is a publicity stunt,” Psaki replied when asked by Fox News Peter Doocy.

“His own office admits that a migrant would need to be transported voluntarily, and then he can’t force him to do so because, again, enforcement of our country’s immigration laws rests with the federal government, not a state.” She continued.

The ​Centers for Disease Control and Prevention introduced the health order in March 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.

Migrants from Central and South America board a US Customs and Border Protection bus after crossing Roma, Texas.
Addresses Latif/REUTERS
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki called Abbott’s plan a “publicity stunt.”
Susan Walsh/AP
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott
Abbott announced the plan in response to Biden’s decision to end Title 42.
Joel Martinez/The Monitor/AP

It has allowed border officials to deport nearly 2 million migrants attempting to enter the US without hearing asylum applications.

But Doocy pointed out that Republican lawmakers estimate that as many as 18,000 migrants a day could arrive at the border – up from the current estimate of 8,000 a day – once the order is lifted.

On Wednesday, Abbott announced that he is ordering the Texas Department of Public Safety to begin stopping and inspecting commercial vehicles looking for illegal immigrants who may be smuggled across the southern border.

Once rounded up, the governor vowed they would be loaded onto charter buses and sent to Washington.

“President Biden refuses to come to the southern border to see the mess he’s made. So we bring the border to him.” Abbott said on Twitter Thursday, link to an interview he gave to Fox News.

“Texas will transport illegal immigrants to the US Capitol,” he added.​

Abbott claimed he must act because Biden administration policies will allow thousands of migrants to cross the border in a flood that will overwhelm local communities across the Lone Star State.

“We’re sending them to the United States capital, where the Biden administration will be able to more directly address the needs of the people they allow to come across our border,” Abbott said.

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