Gov. Abbott tells D.C. mayor to 'stop attacking Texas' as migrant buses create humanitarian crisis

The mayor says she needs help from the National Guard to prevent a spiraling crisis created by Abbott and fellow Republican Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona.

click to enlarge Gov. Greg Abbott's talks tough at the border during a 2021 news conference touting his immigration crackdown. - Instagram / govabbott
Instagram / govabbott
Gov. Greg Abbott's talks tough at the border during a 2021 news conference touting his immigration crackdown.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's busing of thousands of migrants to the nation's capital has ignited a war of words with Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, who warned the situation is threatening to create a "prolonged humanitarian crisis."

In response to Bowser's request for help from the national guard to assist with city's swelling migrant population, the Republican governor told her to stop "attacking Texas."

According to a letter sent by the Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management on behalf of Bowser, the National Guard is needed to prevent a spiraling crisis created by Abbott and fellow Republican Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona.

Both governors began busing asylum seekers to Washington D.C. following the Biden administration's pledge to overturn Title 42, a pandemic-related emergency order issued by the Trump administration to limit legal immigration.

The two governors maintain they're sending a message to the Biden White House, but critics have questioned the effectiveness of the move and blasted it as a wasteful political stunt. Bowser blamed the pair for taxing the resources of her city as a political stunt.

"Our ability to assist people in need at this scale is very limited," Bowser wrote in a statement. "Instead of rolling up their sleeves and working with the Biden/Harris Administration on a real solution, Governors Abbott and Ducey have decided to use desperate people to score political points."

Texas has handed out 6,100 one-way tickets to the nation's capital in the past four months, Abbott's office told the Texas Tribune. Meanwhile, Arizona has sent 1,262 migrants to Washington, according to D.C. broadcaster WUSA.

So far, the city has obtained $1 million in FEMA grants to assist nonprofits in housing, feeding and transporting the migrants. But that's not enough, Bowser argues. She's now requesting that the National Guard send 150 troops to help nonprofits and transport migrants to their final destinations, according to a letter first obtained by WUSA.
"D.C. is experiencing a fraction of the disastrous impact the border crisis has caused Texas," Abbott wrote in a Tweet on Thursday. "Mayor Bowser should stop attacking Texas for securing the border and demand Joe Biden do his job."

Abbott has made border security a centerpiece of his reelection campaign, deploying more 10,000 Texas Guard troops as part of his controversial Operation Lone Star. The $3 billion initiative has been dismissed by critics as an election-year stunt, and it's reportedly under federal investigation for alleged civil rights violations.

This week, the ACLU of Texas and the Texas Civil Rights Project asked for further federal scrutiny of Operation Lone Star, arguing that it had led to widespread racial profiling and high-speed chases that have so far killed 30 people.

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Michael Karlis

Michael Karlis is a Staff Writer at the San Antonio Current. He is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., whose work has been featured in Salon, Alternet, Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, Orlando Weekly, NewsBreak, 420 Magazine and Mexico Travel Today. He reports primarily on breaking news, politics...

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