Bussing migrants to DC: Is TX Gov. Abbott right?
- On April 13, 2022, Texas Governor Greg Abbott sent a number of undocumented imgrants on a bus to Washington DC to protest President Biden’s decision to end Title 42 expulsions. He asserted, “Texas should not have to bear the burden of the Biden Administration’s failure to secure our border.”
- Title 42 was recently terminated which will end the Trump-era public health rule that was put in place to stop the spread of COVID. It is projected that the rule prevented 1.7 million migrants from entering the border in 2020.
- An April 2022 Morning Consult poll found 56% of voters disapprove of Biden’s Title 42 removal, with most opposition from Republicans (78%) and only 11% from Democrats.
- US Customs and Border Protection reported the number of migrant apprehensions at 164,973 in February 2022. The numbers shifted 6.6% since January 154,745 with migrant encounters.
While most experts believe Governor Greg Abbott's plans to bus migrants to DC is only a political and publicity stunt on his part to help his reelection bid, it is an obvious act of desperation and may perhaps be illegal. First, it is not known if the migrants were forcibly bused to DC as the governor does not have the legal authority to coerce any individual (American or otherwise) to go somewhere out of state if they do not want to. The ACLU is currently looking into this as it may violate the 4th amendment, which protects people against unreasonable seizures and forced relocation across far distances. Most of these migrants are not English speakers and may not comprehend what they are being told. The bussing has to be 100% voluntary. Otherwise, it raises constitutional concerns.
No federal law prohibits migrants, upon being released by the Department of Homeland Security, from moving wherever they like. Even without the governor busing them to DC, the migrants could have gone there themselves without any hassles. The government and many non-governmental organizations regularly assist migrants in moving to other parts of the country, so what the governor has accomplished makes absolutely no difference.
Given SCOTUS' 2012 ruling in Arizona's past measures against migrants, the Justice Department is likely to challenge and win Abbott's busing program. There is no question that Immigration and Border Control are fully under the federal government's jurisdiction, and it is legally doubtful if the governor can move immigrants to a different state without first communication with the US government. Governor Abbott can expect some repercussions very soon from the Justice Department.
Beginning with the Obama administration and continuing with the Biden administration, the federal government's position has been this: even though the responsibility of managing immigration and securing America's border belongs to us, we're not going to do anything about it.
The federal government has placed the burden of dealing with illegal immigrants primarily on the shoulders of the states that share a border with Mexico. The Biden administration is ending Title 42, the pandemic-related border restriction enacted under the Trump administration, under which the US has expelled thousands of illegal immigrants. As a result, The Department of Homeland Security anticipates as many as 18,000 illegal immigrants per day. The White House disregarding this obviously dire prediction shows just how disastrous they are on immigration and how much Biden's party embraces and furthers open border policies.
There have also been reports of immigrants being flown secretly in the dead of night to resettle into communities that are unaware this is occurring. The Biden administration has done this in the hope that the media would pay no attention.
Washington politicians often live in a bubble and are unaffected by their decisions. This move is an attempt by Texas Gov. Abbott to make the Biden administration share the burden it has inflicted on border states because of its woeful immigration policies. Democrat policies toward illegal immigration have been, at best, to ignore that there is even a problem and, at worst, to actually encourage illegal border crossings. Perhaps, Abbott's highly visible decision to bus illegal immigrants to DC will at least raise awareness among some who would prefer to ignore the problem altogether.