Gov. Greg Abbott’s re-election/fundraising border stunt of busing migrants to Washington, D.C. got some free campaign P.R. today on Fox News.
Lt. Chris Olivarez of the Texas Department of Public Safety made it sound like Abbott's plan makes him some kind of immigration superhero.
OLIVAREZ: There’s going to be criticism out there in regards to what the state of Texas is doing because we’re the only ones right now that are actually stepping forward and taking charge and actually doing something about this current border crisis, and Gov. Abbott again, that’s an example right there of just leadership and actually standing up for Texans and the entire country, and also standing up against the federal government by coming up with different strategies to help this current crisis, and also to help law enforcement and local communities to go after these organizations and try to prevent what we’re going to see happen come May. DHS is reporting up to 18,000 a day illegal immigrants coming across our borders...
Just another political stunt, financed by the people of Texas. https://t.co/w8qCpj74Ks— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) April 7, 2022
Host Neil Cavuto said, “I’m not a lawyer, but they say it’s not legal what the governor is doing, that you can’t force someone on a bus, and ship ‘em off to Washington, D.C.” He continued, “Others say it’s not different than taking that same bus and dropping ‘em off at a Texas processing center. So where are you on this?”
FACT CHECK: Abbott’s office claims the busing is “voluntary” but you have to wonder how much choice a migrant will feel when a state trooper in riot gear shows up and “asks” if they want to go to D.C.
Interestingly Olivarez did not point out the “voluntary” part of the plan. He said, cryptically, “Obviously, we cannot just go to these locations and just pick up immigrants and transport ‘em out of the state.” But, he added, “I can tell you right now, what’s happening right now with the ones that are being mass-released into smaller, local communities, it’s overwhelming for these border communities.” He said the governor’s plan is to “have those mayors or those county judges, when they feel a sense of being overwhelmed or strained resources, they contact the Texas Department of Emergency [Management]” and “they will provide that transportation from Texas to Washington, D.C.” Olivarez called it “a comprehensive strategy” that’s … “going to be very effective.”
Instead, Cavuto asked about the “growing division” among Democrats who don’t want President Biden “to drop this 42 provision,” meaning the end of a Trump pandemic-era order that authorized U.S. border officials to promptly deport migrants.
Cavuto closed by thanking Olivarez “very, very much.”