June 27, 2022



Only 152 migrants have been bused to the U.S. Capitol from Texas, according to Gov. Greg Abbott’s office

3 min read

Gov. Greg Abbott has reportedly sent a total of 10 buses carrying undocumented migrants to Washington, D.C. in April, with the latest arriving Thursday. However, despite the Republican leader lauding the initiative, the number of transported migrants doesn’t appear to be that impactful for Texas.

Abbott’s office told the New York Post Wednesday that, so far, only 152 migrants have been transported to Washington, D.C. from the Lone Star State, amounting to an average of 19 migrants per bus. Each bus has been said to have the capacity to hold up to 40 migrants, though Abbott’s office did not confirm how many migrants traveled during each trip. 

During a roundtable Thursday with local law enforcement in San Antonio, Abbott admitted that he doesn’t actually know the total number of migrants that have been bused to D.C. so far. He also did not specify how many migrants have traveled on each bus, but says the number has been as high as 28 migrants and as low as nine. 

“The number of people on the buses varies because it depends on how many people are in these local communities that are just standing around that the local community has us put on the bus,” Abbott said. “We will transport as many people we can and this is going to be an ongoing process.” Three buses arrived at the nation’s capitol today, Abbott said, adding that buses have been sent daily. 

The 152 migrants is a small figure compared to the number of those attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border this year. Customs and Border Protection recorded 221,303 migrant encounters in March, according to a monthly report released earlier this week. In addition, U.S. border authorities arrested 210,000 migrants in March, the highest monthly total in two decades, according to Reuters. This number marks 24 percent increase from the same month in 2021 when 169,000 migrants were arrested at the border. 

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The number of migrants on each bus to D.C. also appears to be on the decline. While Abbott previously said there were 24 passengers on the first bus that arrived on April 13, the second bus carried only 14. The fourth bus, which arrived on April 16, carried less than 10 migrants, according to Fox News.

Abbott’s office declined to tell the Post how much the bus trips are costing taxpayers. Abbott spokesperson Renae Eze told the Post that the state legislature has appropriated billions of dollars for border security. 

“As they do with all disaster response costs, (the Texas Division of Emergency Management) will be submitting expenses for reimbursement from funds previously appropriated by the legislature for border security efforts,” Eze told the Post. “Associated costs will be dependent on bus use.”

Abbott announced his bus plan in response to the Biden administration ending Title 42 expulsions. The migrants, who volunteered to take the buses, hail from the countries of Angola, Brazil, Colombia, Congo, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela, according to Abbott’s office. 

The catalyst for the measure stemmed from discussions Abbott had with border officials who claimed the Biden administration was dropping off “dozens, if not hundreds” of migrants into their communities, he said. “Some of those local communities were putting people on buses sending them right here to San Antonio,” Abbott said. “I said ‘I have a better idea. Let’s not send them to San Antonio. Let’s send them to Washington, D.C.'”

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When asked about some migrants expressing gratitude for getting a free ride to D.C., Abbott responded his intent was to “alleviate the strain put on border communities.” Abbott also claims that President Biden has not once visited the border during his presidency.

“If he will not come to the border, I’m going to take the border to President Biden,” Abbott said. “He will see by these daily flows of buses what it’s going to be like, what Texans are dealing with and he and members of Congress are going to have to deal with it directly.”

Abbott’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on how long he plans to continue his bus initiative. However, appearing on Fox News this week, the Republican leader indicated that he is considering busing migrants to President Joe Biden’s home state of Delaware next.

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