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United States | Why is Texas busing migrants across the border to New York and Washington DC? | Greg Abbott | Migration | Joe Biden | WORLD

But the Big Apple has not been the only destination to which migrants have been referred. In total, it is estimated that more than 7 thousand people have been transferred under this modality from the states of Texas and Arizona to New York and Washington DC

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A migrant who arrived in Washington DC aboard a bus that left in Texas is looking for a car to take him to a nearby shelter.
A migrant who arrived in Washington DC aboard a bus that left in Texas is looking for a car to take him to a nearby shelter. / STEFANI REYNOLDS

New York authorities have warned that reception centers have exceeded their capacity after the arrival of more than 4,000 migrants since May. In addition, the homeless population has increased by 10% since the same month, a phenomenon that the mayor’s office directly links to the arrival of the buses.

Manuel Castro, commissioner for immigration affairs of the New York Democratic mayor Eric Adams, who was in charge of receiving the buses that arrived on Wednesday, pointed out to the Texas governor, Republican Greg Abbott, of using this humanitarian crisis as part of a political vendetta.

“He is doing it to incite anti-immigration sentiment, but New York will not fall for it”Castro pointed out.

Manuel Castro, commissioner for immigration affairs of the city of New York, directly accuses the governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, of the situation.
Manuel Castro, commissioner for immigration affairs of the city of New York, directly accuses the governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, of the situation. / YUKI IWAMURA / AFP

Abbott, for his part, seems to confirm in his interviews that this would be a lesson for the Democrats. “This is an act of hypocrisy on the part of the Mayor and Governor of New York. Mayor (Eric) Adams says he welcomes illegal immigrants and now that he has to deal with the reality of it he can’t handle it.”the governor said during an interview with Fox News.

“One of the most important things our compatriots can do is realize for themselves the challenges Texas faces every day. Only when they see it, the Biden Administration will have to strengthen the laws to secure the borders”assured.

“It is exposing people who have nothing to do with the political situation”comment to Trade Ariel Ruiz, public policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute in Washington DC.

OPPOSITOR TO MIGRATION

Since his election as governor in 2015, the Republican belonging to the most conservative wing of the party, Greg Abbott, has been characterized by prioritizing policies against illegal migration across the southern border of USA.

In the United States, border protection and immigration policies are the power of the Federal Government; however, state authorities also deploy resources for this.

Texas has invested more than 4 billion dollars in its anti-immigrant program and in July, Abbott signed an executive order to militarize immigration enforcement within his state through the Texas National Guard and the Department of Public Safety. This implies that people in an irregular migratory situation are now being sought in the state in order to be able to send them back to the border and return them to their countries. The problem, however, is that there is no way of knowing who is in a legal situation and who is not, so there is a kind of persecution of migrants.

The conservative Republican, Greg Abbott, has been governor of Texas since 2015. He has been characterized by his rejection of migration to the United States.
The conservative Republican, Greg Abbott, has been governor of Texas since 2015. He has been characterized by his rejection of migration to the United States. / CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP

The rationale for Abbott behind this controversial measure is that the Administration of the Democrat Joe Biden has left the country unprotected against “an invasion”, which has “forced them to build a border wall, deploy state military forces and enter into agreements to ensure the State of Texas”.

But,Biden is really giving carte blanche for migrants to freely enter the country? The figures would indicate the opposite.

From October 2021, in USA More than 1.7 million people have been detained on the border with Mexico, something that has not been recorded since 1960.

On the other hand, although it is true that on Tuesday the US justice system allowed the president to abolish the “Stay in Mexico” immigration program, launched by his predecessor Donald Trump and which forced asylum seekers to leave the country until the date of their hearings, other policies remain in effect.

One of them is, for example, Title 42, a program launched in the 1940s and recovered by Trump during the COVID-19 pandemic, in which, under the justification that migrants could introduce diseases, they were automatically denied entry. to the country.

“There is still no open asylum system at the border. Following Title 42, people who arrive from Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala or El Salvador are still expelled and are allowed to enter if they come from other countries such as Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Ukraine or Afghanistan, which are allies or in situations of great vulnerability. ”Ruiz explains.

Even if Title 42 is repealed, Title 8 will remain in force, the immigration policy that prevailed in the North American country before 2020. According to this regulation, border agents are responsible for interviewing irregular migrants who are at the border. to determine whether or not they are truly in danger in their country of origin. If they are, they are sent to immigration courts; Otherwise, they are deported.

Figures from the Office of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) show that only in June there have been 207,416 encounters with irregular migrants, as the situation in which people surrender to the authority or try to cross the border is known.

Abbott's justification behind this controversial measure is that the Administration of Democrat Joe Biden has left the country unprotected against
Abbott’s justification behind this controversial measure is that the Administration of Democrat Joe Biden has left the country unprotected against “an invasion.” / STEFANI REYNOLDS / AFP

VULNERABILITY

Since its inception, at the end of April, the plan of Abbott of sending the migrants in buses received different questions. The little initial information, for example, did not make it clear if it would be a voluntary or mandatory transfer.

“They are not given the correct information about where they will arrive and for how long. Even if any of them have a hearing in the asylum court, they can lose their case for not appearing. In humanitarian terms, they do not receive enough food on the way. But also the street situation could affect them later “Ruiz points out.

Migrants receive very little information about where they will be transferred and what steps to take after arrival.
Migrants receive very little information about where they will be transferred and what steps to take after arrival. / STEFANI REYNOLDS / AFP

Over time, the mechanics have proven to be as follows. When an irregular migrant is detected, they are detained by the Border Patrol. Upon being released, he is offered two scenarios: take a $50 bus to San Antonio or get on another for free that will take him to Washington DC or New York, according to an article in The New York Times.

Many of the migrants board the buses without sufficient information about where they will arrive, the services they will have, and without any support network that they will probably find in Texas or Arizona, where they initially arrived.

“If this process continues, the only ones affected will be the immigrants. Even if they get on the buses with some type of information, it exposes them to situations of inappropriate risk for themselves and for the cities. The idea of ​​the buses is not the worst there can be, if it had good intentions to distribute the most vulnerable people in states where they can be supported with better services, it would be a good mechanism. But now it is only generating logistical problems and confusion at the cost of the migrant”says the expert.

The majority of migrants transferred from Texas to New York or Washington DC have Venezuelan or Colombian nationality, according to state authorities.
The majority of migrants transferred from Texas to New York or Washington DC have Venezuelan or Colombian nationality, according to state authorities. / YUKI IWAMURA / AFP

After the long journey, the migrants arrive in areas of the cities that do not necessarily have nearby refuge centers, which leads to an increase in the number of homeless people that the New York municipality warned about earlier.

It is estimated that since April, 135 buses with some 5,100 migrants have departed from Texas for Washington DC, while another thousand more were sent from Arizona as of May.

On the other hand, about 305 migrants arrived from the same states in New York City.

“The impact has been so significant for local shelters that they cannot keep up with the number of people who arrive. These types of actions by governors expose migrants to difficult circumstances in order to generate political benefits.”Ruiz sentences.

mini-interview

Ariel Ruiz, public policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute in Washington DC: “There is an intention of revenge against the Democrats”

– Is this arrival of migrants collapsing the services of New York and DC?

Actually the number of people is not the main concern of both cities but the way they are sending them. When they arrive, they do so without notice and often to locations with little information on what to look for, who to go to, or where to stay. The impact has been so significant for local shelters that they cannot keep up with the number of people arriving. Not because they do not have capacity but because they do not have a predictable system to know if 100, 200 or 50 will arrive, it is very difficult to relocate them.

—Do you consider that these vulnerable people have been instrumentalized?

It seems that there is an intention of political revenge against the Democratic Party. Because they could have sent the buses to other parts of the country, like Memphis, Los Angeles, Nashville or Denver, which would mean a much shorter trip.

“Revenge for what?”

The governor of Texas has an incorrect perception, he believes that all people are being let in. Although some people are entering, they are mostly women, children or families in vulnerable situations. Title 42 fairly restricts the others. What the governor does is say that he respects the federal jurisdiction over entry into the country, but he sends them where they could cause the most problems for the government.

—Abbott is emerging as a Republican candidate, is there a political intention behind this?

I don’t know exactly what the governor of Texas thinks, but I have no doubt that he is seeking to take advantage of the political moment to give the impression that he is being strict on the border and to receive the support of voters, Republicans or independents, who think that the border it’s decomposed. This type of action is an expression of the independence of Texas for those people. This is not going to guarantee the election, but it is making a significant electoral gain.

Ariel Ruiz, public policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute in Washington DC:

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