The first bus of immigrants who illegally entered the United States through Texas arrived in Denver.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott began busing illegal immigrants to major cities across the nation in April of 2022 in order to aid struggling border communities that were overwhelmed with the burdens of illegal immigration. Abbott has been critical of President Joe Biden and his administration’s inaction regarding the crisis at the southern border.
In a statement on May 18, Abbott once again criticized Biden’s “open border policies” and their effect on the state.
“Texas’ overwhelmed and overrun border communities should not have to shoulder the flood of illegal immigration due to President Biden’s reckless open border policies, like his mass catch and release without court dates or any way to track them,” said Abbott. “Until the President and his Administration step up and fulfill their constitutional duty to secure the border, the State of Texas will continue busing migrants to self-declared sanctuary cities like Denver to provide much-needed relief to our small border towns.”
When Abbott authorized the Texas Division of Emergency Management to charter buses to transport migrants who had been released into the state to major cities, the Migration Policy Institute estimated that over 1.7 million illegal immigrants were living in Texas, which has bused migrants to Washington DC, New York City, Chicago, and Philadelphia.
The illegal immigrants who were transported to Denver were dropped off near the Civic Center Park at 14th Street and Court Place.
Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock called the migrants’ arrival an example of “political theater pitting jurisdictions against each other and exacerbating this situation instead of advocating for real solutions.”
“What’s happening at the border and now at the doorsteps of cities across the country is a humanitarian crisis,” he said on Twitter in response to Abbott’s statement.
“If Gov. Abbott thinks he’s going to win over allies to his cause here in Denver with this latest stunt, he’s going to be sorely mistaken,” he added. “But we’re more than happy to send him the bill for additional support we’re to [sic] providing now because of his failure to manage his own state.”
Hancock has also asked for the federal government to assist with the burden illegal immigration has placed on his city, telling CNN’s Jake Tapper that Denver may need to cut its services without additional funding.
“Denver cannot continue to financially shoulder the burden of this humanitarian crisis alone,” tweeted Hancock. “Our residents shouldn’t lose the services and resources they depend on and pay for with their tax dollars because Congress and the Federal Government are failing to do their job.”
As of March, Denver had spent almost $8 million dollars transporting migrants to other cities in response to the arrival of more than 5,000 illegal immigrants.