Abbott Doubles Down on Plan to Handle Thousands of Illegal Border Crossers
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is accelerating the state’s busing to New York City of foreign nationals who’ve entered the U.S. through the southern border.
The majority coming in are believed to not have valid asylum claims and to be bypassing federal immigration law, and instead of being deported are being released into the U.S. under new Biden administration policies, attorneys general who’ve sued the administration argue.
Rather than have the 5,000 people being apprehended a day in areas of Texas overwhelm local border communities, Abbott said he’s sending them north to the so-called “Sanctuary Cities” of Washington, D.C., and New York City.
So far, Texas has bused over 1,500 people to New York City since Aug. 5, in addition to 7,400 to Washington since April.
Doing so, Abbott argues, “is providing much-needed relief to our overwhelmed border communities.”
The state’s border security effort, Operation Lone Star, initiated in March 2021, “continues to fill the dangerous gaps left by the Biden Administration’s refusal to secure the border,” Abbott said. “Every individual who is apprehended or arrested and every ounce of drugs seized would have otherwise made their way into communities across Texas and the nation due to President Biden’s open border policies.”
The Texas Department of Public Safety and Texas National Guard are continuing to thwart the illegal smuggling of drugs, weapons and people. They’ve so far apprehended 297,200 foreign nationals who’ve entered Texas illegally, and made more than 19,000 criminal arrests, including more than 16,400 felony charges.
Since last March, DPS has seized over 335.5 million lethal doses of fentanyl, enough to kill nearly every adult and child in the U.S. These numbers exclude those of federal and other agencies.
Abbott has invited both Democratic mayors of New York City and Washington to see the border for themselves.
They’ve declined his offer.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has asked the secretary of defense to approve the use of National Guard troops to help her with the influx of people. New York City Mayor Eric Adams authorized millions in taxpayer money to help relocate and provide services to those being bused to his city.
Both mayors have described the influx of people as a “humanitarian crisis” and blamed Abbott.
But Texas saw more than 100,000 people apprehended last month alone. These exclude the tens of thousands of “gotaways” who evade law enforcement as they enter Texas illegally between ports of entry.
Since Biden took office and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas altered federal immigration policies, roughly 5 million people from over 150 countries have entered the U.S. illegally, including “gotaways,” according to data published by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol and information provided by a Border Patrol agent to The Center Square.
“Gotaways” is the term CBP uses for those who’ve intentionally entered the U.S. illegally and evaded law enforcement and who haven’t made asylum or immigration claims.
While CBP collects gotaway data, it doesn’t report it publicly. The Center Square obtains that information directly from a Border Patrol agent.
The 5 million figure includes 3.9 million who’ve been apprehended entering the U.S. illegally nationwide, including 3.4 million solely at the southern border.
It also includes a minimum of 900,000 gotaways — though that number is likely higher, Border Patrol agents and law enforcement officials have told The Center Square.
The estimated 5 million are now greater than the individual populations of 25 states — up from 23 states reported in June.
They are greater than the populations of all of the largest cities in the U.S. excluding New York City, based on 2022 data. They also total more than the individual estimated populations of 100 countries and territories, including Ireland (4.9 million) and New Zealand (4.8 million).
In the first 10 months of fiscal 2022, more foreign nationals were apprehended illegally entering the U.S. than in all of fiscal 2021.
A version of this article first appeared on The Center Square.
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