Analysis: The legal ramifications of GOP Governors who "forcefully" transport migrants wherever they see fit


There have been numerous debates all over the internet pertaining to the legalities of immigrant transportation by Republican leaders, and unless this is voluntary, the law is against it. Let's unpack...
Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.Flickr

Two of the United States' most popular and powerful governors, Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott, have been making waves for busing immigrants to Washington, DC, and other locations.

The move behind this, according to one of the Governors, is because President Joe Biden's administration continues to roll back commonsense policies that "once kept communities safe," referring to stringent laws on foreign nationals.

Earlier this year, Governor Abbott was adamant that the Biden Administration was not doing enough to mitigate the rise of immigrations crossing borders in their attempt to move to the U.S.

The legal authority to transport busloads of migrants to various areas remains controversial, seeing as many people said it constitutes "kidnapping", and democrats also phrase it this way.

  • However, it is important to note that the 2012 Supreme Court case, Arizona VS the United States, also prevents states from making their own immigration policies.

The United States Supreme Court overturned an Arizona immigration law back in 2012, declaring the federal government to have "broad" and "undeniable" immigration law authority over the states.

As such, deporting migrants in Texas (or any Republican-Led state) would be unconstitutional based on that precedent, state Immigration attorney Denise Gilman has said.

Immigration law enforcement falls under the jurisdiction of the federal government, and as such, both Governor Abbott and DeSantis cannot deport anyone; only the federal government can do that.

A recent report has pointed out how some lawmakers in Texas want the federal government to be stripped from those powers that get to determine the deportation status of foreign nationals.

Representative Jodey Arrington said the state of Texas should declare the border situation as some sort of an invasion, a call that came following an announcement that border agents in Texas-Mexico were struggling to manage the influx of migrants coming to the United States.

Daily encounters of foreign nationals continued to surge day-by-day this summer, doubling the capacity at some facilities, thus leading to long queues that take hours to manage.

In June alone, patrol agents encountered 207,416 migrants across the southwest border, recent data from Customs and Border Protection has shown.

This mess at the Mexico-U.S. border also led to logistic issues and bred into a commercial disaster for both nations, to a point where business leaders complained.

TDEM said it has been dispatching buses to border communities since the programme was announced, with officials working on the clock to identify these immigrants.

After announcing this project that aims to bus immigrants, Governor Abbott received a lot of criticism until his office released a statement saying the transportation would have to be voluntary.

This was a different tone than the one he belted at an earlier press conference because he had said that his administration would be doing this whether the federal government was against it or not.

Immigration advocates and other critics argue that the funds could be better spent on more pressing needs of Floridians rather than "targeting and demonizing" immigrants.

Political leaders also questioned whether these plans would materialize when it was done this year by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, with the White House calling it a publicity stunt. 

Republican leaders seem hell-bent on busing undocumented foreign nationals apprehended at different borders. Given Governor DeSantis' influence, joining the wave will be far more impactful than it had been over the past few months.

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