During Wednesday’s press conference, White House press secretary Jen Psaki addressed Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s (R) decision to send the first busload of migrants to Washington, D.C.
When asked if the Biden administration had reacted to the refugees’ arrival, Psaki said no.
“The first bus of migrants arrived in DC today, Texas Governor Greg Abbott making good on his promise to send migrants to the president’s doorstep,” Heinrich asked. “I think you previously called it a ‘publicity stunt,’ is that still the White House’s view? Can you give us any reaction to this busload of migrants arriving here in D.C.?”
“Well, these are all migrants who have been processed by CBP and are allowed to travel,” Psaki explained, “so it’s good that the state of Texas is assisting them in getting to their final destination while they await the conclusion of their immigration processes, which they are all on.”
Last week, Abbott announced the initiative during a press conference in reaction to the administration’s decision to scrap the Title 42 policy, which imposed limits on asylum applicants in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. It is commonly assumed that once the restriction is repealed, a tremendous influx of migrants would flood the border.
“We’re sending them to the White House, where the Biden Administration will be able to handle the needs of the individuals they’re permitting to enter our border more quickly,” Abbott said at the time.
When Texas officials revealed that any migrants traveling the bus to the Capitol would do so freely, Abbott was chastised.
“His own office recognizes that a migrant must willingly be transferred, and then he can’t compel them because, again, enforcement of our country’s immigration laws is the responsibility of the federal government, not a state,” Psaki said last week.