Governor Abbott Brags of Having Transported 11,500 Illegal Immigrants From Texas to Sanctuary Cities

Toby Hazlewood

Drawing criticism for treating immigrants as "pawns"

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Gov. Greg AbbottTwitter of GovAbbott

On September 26, Governor of Texas Greg Abbott shared details of the total number of illegal immigrants that have been relocated to so-called sanctuary cities around the United States under 'Operation Lone Star'.

A staggering 11,500 immigrants have been transported by bus so far, including 8,100 to Washington DC alone.

Courting controversy

Earlier in September, news networks broadcast scenes from Washington DC after buses offloaded immigrants outside of the residence of Vice President, Kamala Harris in a move that many have decried as a cruel political stunt.

Meanwhile, the transportation of immigrants out of Texas by Governor Abbott and, in recent days by Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, has continued to win the Republican leaders a lot of publicity - positive from many in their voter base, and negative from their critics.

Also in September, DeSantis transported 50 Venezuelan immigrants to Martha's Vineyard by plane using Florida taxpayer dollars - a move that many believe was solely intended to court controversy and to raise his profile among Republican voters across the nation.

Criticism from leading Democrats

Unsurprisingly, feedback on the mass-transport of immigrants has been divided, largely along bipartisan political lines.

At the Texas Tribune Festival last week, Democrat and U.S. Secretary for Transport - Pete Buttigieg - was particularly scathing about the actions of Abbott and DeSantis, claiming that their primary aim is to draw attention to the issue for its politically divisive nature. His view was that they were no more able to resolve the problem than the Biden administration has been, or the Trump administration before that.

It hasn't just been politicians who have been quick to condemn the actions of Republican politicians in this matter - responses to Governor Abbott's tweet included some from religious leaders who have been quick to criticize the use of immigrants and refugees as "pawns", used to make a political point.

The problem needs a solution, not just attention

Few could deny that there is a problem that needs resolution, and the Biden administration has seemingly been as unable to make a difference as the Trump administration was before them.

Texas Attorney General Paxton recently highlighted how drug cartels appear to be exploiting the situation too, worsening the humanitarian crisis further.

For now though, many will be wondering if the mass transportation desperate immigrants around the United States is an enduring solution other than for the purposes of drawing national attention to the crisis?

Do you think that the transportation of immigrants to sanctuary cities has served its purpose now, in bringing media attention to the border crisis? Would the money be better served in trying to help Texans and in exploring enduring solutions to the issue? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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