A controversial Texas program designed to deal with the influx of migrants by busing them to major metropolitan areas and Democrat strongholds is under fire by local Republicans who say that migrants are disembarking early in red states before reaching their destinations.
A program launched by Republican Governor Greg Abbott in Texas that has recent arrivals to the United States signing voluntary consent waivers that authorize their transportation to cities like New York and Washington D.C. has received criticism from other Republicans who say the migrants rarely make it to their intended destination.
According to Pew Research Center’s Stateline, which reported on this trend, many of the buses arriving in New York are nearly empty and as many as 20% of the migrants shipped out of Arizona have been arriving in Florida despite Governor Ron DeSantis’ warning migrants not to enter his state in April.
Last week, Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn voiced her complaints about the Texas program, claiming that migrants were “threatening” bus drivers in order to gain passage to states where their friends and family are located. Speaking to Fox News’ Steve Doocey, the senator from Tennessee said that migrants were under the impression that they could use these bus rides to go anywhere.
“What we have heard is that they are threatening the drivers from time to time, and they’re wanting to get to where their friends are,” she said. “They look at this, Steve, as a safe passage, if you will, across the country because they’re being given that free bus ride to wherever they want to go. And, of course, the sanctuary city policies that many cities across the country have, these large, big blue cities, not Chattanooga, but they have set up — the cartels have been free to kind of set up shop.”
Bus operator Wynne Transportation, which was hired by the state of Texas, has promised to no longer stop in Chattanooga, Tennessee, but that decision only came after a local McDonald’s worker was forced to call the police on one group of migrants who began panhandling when their bus let them off nearly 600 miles away from Washington.
In Dade County, Georgia, Republican Sheriff Ray Cross spoke about the situation, suggesting that the companies contracted to transport the migrants are more than happy to receive full fare for only part of the trip.
“I think they were dropping off migrants along the way. Because I asked them what their destination was and they told me Washington DC,” he said. “Just my theory they are dropping them off along the way, they don’t have to go all the way to DC and still get paid for the full trip.”
While other Republicans have been more diplomatic with their criticism and have chosen to direct their blame towards President Joe Biden, Georgia state Representative Mike Cameron has insisted that Texas take responsibility.
“If Texas is going to put people on buses, they need to make sure that these individuals are going to their destinations,” he said. “I understand Texas’ problem, but don’t just put people on a bus and let them get off anywhere. That’s not a solution.”
Abbott’s office, however, has washed its hands of the matter. In an email to Pew, Renae Eze, the governor’s press secretary, explained that the migrants are asylum seekers on a 60-day probation period and cannot be detained or have their movement curtailed by the state.
“Migrants are allowed to purchase any needed provisions or disembark at any of these stops,” she said.