In addition, paperwork from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will be required before an illegal alien released from federal custody is allowed to take the bus or plane.
“To board a bus or flight, a migrant must volunteer to be transported and show documentation from DHS. Mayors and county judges can notify TDEM of any DHS-facilitated drop-off of migrants in their communities so that the agency can provide appropriate transportation,” the press release said.
In a Fox News appearance on Thursday morning, Abbott stated in response to a question by Dana Perino that forcing someone to D.C. would be an abduction.
“With regard to the voluntary component of it, understand this, and that is, Dana, if I were to go to Washington, D.C. and take you and put you on a bus and take you down to the Rio Grande Valley, that would be kidnapping,” Abbott said.
“The same thing applies to anybody who refuses to get onto a bus, that would be kidnapping, even though it would be by a law enforcement agency. So, there are laws that have to be followed in this process.”
Lawmakers from both parties have lambasted the governor’s announcement, including Rep. Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler), who wrote on social media, “It’s a gimmick. The bus rides would be offered to immigrants on a voluntary basis. Sorry folks, this is a stunt to grab a ‘tough on the border’ headline.”
Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic nominee for governor, tweeted in response to the development, “Just another political stunt, financed by the people of Texas.”
Abbott told reporters at the press conference that the primary destination for the charter buses would be “the steps of the United States Capitol.” The governor reiterated that DHS is preparing for up to 18,000 daily encounters with illegal aliens when the application of Title 42 expulsions is terminated on March 23.
The governor stated that his intent is to provide relief to local jurisdictions dealing with a spike in illegal immigration and draw President Biden’s attention to the problem.
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Hayden Sparks is a senior reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."