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EXCLUSIVE: In the days since Governor Greg Abbott saying Texas would transport illegal immigrants released in their state to the US Capitol in Washington, DC, fewer communities have complained that federal authorities deposit immigrants in their cities, state officials say.
Abbott ordered the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) last week to begin transporting illegal immigrants released from federal custody in Texas to Washington, DC and other locations outside the Lone Star State.
TDEM said it sent buses over the weekend to border communities where it coordinated with officials to identify these immigrants. The agency added that each bus has the capacity and supplies needed to transport up to 40 released migrants in Texas communities and transport them to Washington, DC.
TDEM told Fox News Monday that many of the communities that originally applied for support, from the Rio Grande Valley to Terrell County, say the federal government has stopped letting immigrants into their cities since Abbott’s announcement on March 6. april.
Still, the governor’s legal authority to transport buses full of immigrants to the US Capitol remains in question. the 2012 Supreme Court The case Arizona vs. The United States prevents states from making their own immigration policies.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton told Fox News that the nuances of the transportation plan will become more apparent once President Biden rescinds Title 42 next month. The public health emergency of the Trump era has been the rapid expulsion of most migrants at the border due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I think it’s going to coincide a lot with what’s going on with Title 42, when Biden allows a couple million more people to come across the border, he doesn’t let them, he invites them,” Paxton said.
Republicans and Democrats have warned the Biden administration that rescinding Title 42 will cause increased migration, on top of the already massive numbers Border Patrol faces every day. Last week, for example, some 7,100 immigrants arrived daily at the southern border of the United States.
Border Patrol officials said they are planning for as many as 18,000 daily arrivals once Title 42 expires.
Still, some have questioned whether Abbott’s plan to bus migrants was genuine. The White House he dismissed it as a “publicity stunt”. Even Texas state representative Matt Schaefer, a Republican, called it a “gimmick.”
Fox News has made multiple attempts to seek comment from the governor’s office.
Paxton, who has challenged the Biden administration take Abbott’s policy to court and dismissed the charge that the Texas governor was simply faking it.
“The governor has a lot to deal with when it comes to the border,” Paxton said. “And he has a federal government that is betraying the state of Texas, betraying the American people and I think (Governor Abbott) is just trying to figure out what he can do to protect the people of Texas.”
On Monday, Governor Abbott met with the Texas Border Sheriffs Coalition in the border city of El Paso to discuss the state’s ongoing security efforts.
“Texans demand and deserve an aggressive and comprehensive strategy to secure our border, not lackluster leadership from President Biden,” Abbott said in a statement. “As the federal government continues to roll back the common sense policies that once kept our communities safe, our local police have gone to great lengths to protect Texans from the dangerous criminals, deadly drugs and illegal contraband that flood the state. of Lone Star”.
Texas has already deployed thousands of soldiers and National Guardsmen, installed a new border barrier and jailed illegal immigrants on trespassing charges.
Marisa Schultz of Fox News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.