GOP governors ferried migrants to liberal cities. Texas sent them to the Vice President’s home

Politicians have been using migrants as props for decades. Republicans visit southwest border and say immigration is out of control. Under the Trump administration, Democrats have taken to detention centers to speak out against the treatment of children locked in cages.

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas took the tactic to a new level on Thursday, whisking around 100 people – many of whom said they were fleeing violence or poverty – to Vice President Kamala Harris’s doorstep. Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis sent a separate group of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, a playground for wealthy liberals, on Wednesday night.

The two buses Abbott sent to Washington arrived in front of the Naval Observatory just after sunrise. Reporters were on hand ahead of the humanitarian group that has led resettlement efforts here since April, when Abbot and Republican Arizona Governor Doug Ducey began sending thousands of migrants to Washington and other liberal cities .

Amy Fischer, organizer of the Migrant Solidarity Mutual Aid Network, said she and other volunteers found out about the new arrivals on Twitter. His group is most often mobilized to help buses that arrive early in the morning or late at night at Union Station, the hub for trains and buses that is a few blocks from the US Capitol.

The migrants were met and quickly taken by Uber, Lyft and private volunteer cars to a church the group uses to help people wash, eat and figure out where they plan to settle, whether in Washington or elsewhere. Fischer said his group has helped about 6,200 people so far.

“This whole project is a racist publicity stunt that disrespects the agency and the human rights of those who arrive seeking safety,” Fischer said.

But that is forcing some Democratic leaders to adjust their policy to deal with unexpected arrivals. Democratic Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser last week declared an emergency to release $10 million in funds after the Pentagon rejected her requests for help from the National Guard.

“We have a system that fails those who arrive seeking safety,” Fischer added. “And instead of states and localities, the federal government and Congress responding to real needs, it turns into a political football game.”

President Biden asked Harris last year to address the root causes of migration from Central America. Republicans have called her the Biden administration’s ‘border czar’ – a title she has resisted – and conservatives have pilloried her all week for saying in an interview with NBC News over the weekend that the border was secure.

Those remarks prompted Abbott to send the buses to Harris’ home, he tweeted on Thursday.

‘Vice President Harris says our border is ‘secure’ and denies crisis’, Abbott wrote. “We are sending migrants to his backyard to ask the Biden administration to do its job and secure the border.”

Border officials recorded 1.9 million encounters with migrants between October 2021 and the end of July, an all-time high. This number does not represent individual migrants as many migrants attempt to cross the border – and are apprehended – multiple times.

The issue was not raised during a speech Harris made later that morning at the White House event aimed at addressing hate violence and his office did not respond to questions by email. .

Governor Gavin Newsom has called on the Justice Department to investigate DeSantis’ actions, citing reports that migrants were recruited based on ‘false representations’ that they would be taken to Boston and given access accelerated to the work permit.

“The fact that Fox News and not the Department of Homeland Security, the city or local NGOs were alerted to a plan to leave migrants, including children, at the side of a busy DC street clearly shows that it is only a cruel and premeditated policy. cascade,” said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

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