Abbott has directed the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to instate a zero-tolerance policy for "unsafe" vehicles which may also possibly smuggling migrants.
Abbott has also directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to charter buses to send migrants to the Capitol in Washington, D.C. in response to the Biden administration reportedly busing migrants into Texas cities from the border.
Governor Abbott is also ordering DPS troopers to ramp up vehicle inspections at the border, and the Texas National Guard is asking for an additional half a billion dollars to fund the governor's border mission through the end of the fiscal year.
Diana Gomez, advocacy director at Progress Texas, and James Dickey, CEO of JD Key Communications, joined Rebecca Thomas to talk about Abbott's new border initiatives in more detail.
REBECCA: Governor Abbott says Texas will send undocumented immigrants to Washington, D.C., so the Biden administration can deal with them.
ABBOTT: We are sending them to the United States Capitol, where the Biden administration will be able to more immediately address the needs of the people that they are allowing to come across our border. They themselves have been putting these migrants on busses to San Antonio. So I said, I've got a better idea as opposed to bussing these people to San Antonio. Let's continue to ride all the way to Washington, DC.
REBECCA: Governor Abbott is also ordering DPS troopers to ramp up vehicle inspections at the border, and the Texas National Guard is asking for an additional half a billion dollars to fund the governor's border mission through the end of the fiscal year. Here to talk about this is Diana Gomez, advocacy director at Progress Texas, and James Dickey, CEO of JD Key Communications. Thank you both for being here.
DIANA: Thank you.
JAMES: Thank you.
REBECCA: James, the governor's office clarified after he spoke yesterday that the migrants would have to volunteer to be bused to D.C. Critics say he knew that, but said it anyway because he's got an election to win. Any truth to that? What are your thoughts?
JAMES: Well, of course they are going to follow the law, and part of the problem is that the federal government has created this problem. To be clear, what we're talking about is, according to their own estimates, the Border Patrol is expecting us to get to 18,000 illegal immigrants crossing the border every day. That means a new city's worth of population, a new Austin's worth of population every two months. That is not sustainable. Texas can't take it on its own. D.C. is causing the problem. So everything we can do to remind D.C. that the problem is one they have caused and they need to fix it is a good thing.
REBECCA: Diana, should the governor be using DPS troopers as backdrops in what some say looked like a campaign commercial when discussing the border?
DIANA: No, he should not be doing that because what he's essentially doing is political theater, which is what he does best. And the reason is to cover up for 25 failed years of Republican leadership that has led to a teacher shortage, a broken foster care system and no answer to our housing crisis. These are all real problems, none of them that are taking place at the border.
REBECCA: James, when it comes to immigration, it feels like no one is talking about a solution. Where can Abbott and the Biden administration find common ground?
JAMES: I don't know. Part of the problem is that the border problem had been dramatically solved, that it had been reduced from when the Obama administration was in office until the Biden administration came in, and in less than one year, Biden took a scenario that was not problematic and turned it into the number one most important issue most pressing issue for Texas voters because we can see that half a million illegal immigrants a month is not a sustainable situation. And this was caused by the Biden administration. So we can easily come to a common ground if they will just stop being insane and go back to what was working just two years ago.
REBECCA: Diana, I'm going to leave you with the final thought.
DIANA: Basically, Title 42 is a Trump era policy that the Biden administration is correct in lifting whether from Ukraine or from Central America. Seeking asylum is a human right.
REBECCA: All right. Diana, James, thank you both for sharing your time and perspectives with us tonight.
DIANA: Thank you.
JAMES: Thank you.
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