(CNSNews.com) - Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Friday that in addition to busing migrants to the nation’s capital, he has begun sending them to New York City, a decision that the White House decried as a “political ploy.”
“In addition to Washington, D.C., New York City is the ideal destination for these migrants, who can receive the abundance of city services and housing that Mayor Eric Adams has boasted about within the sanctuary city,” Abbott said in a news release. “I hope he follows through on his promise of welcoming all migrants with open arms so that our overrun and overwhelmed border towns can find relief.”
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, “It’s the latest stunt from the governor, another stunt of busing desperate migrants across the country and he’s using them as a political ploy. I mean this is what he’s been doing, and it’s shameful, and I’ve said this before. I was asked this last week, and it’s costing the state of Texas $1.5 million.
“That’s what this game that he’s doing, that he’s playing is costing Texans - $1.5 million, and we have seen him do this before. His so-called Operation Lone Star put National guardsmen and law enforcement in dangerous situations and resulted in a logistical nightmare, needing federal rescue,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Defense Department has denied a request from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser to send the National Guard to assist the nation’s capital with the busloads of migrants that Abbott has sent to the city.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin “determined providing this support would negatively impact the readiness of the DCNG and have negative effects on the organization and members,” a Pentagon official told The Hill on Friday.
“We understand SAMU First Response has received grant funding through FEMA’s EFSP [Emergency Food and Shelter Program], and has indicated that sufficient EFSP funds exist at this point to provide migrant assistance,” the official said.
When asked what kind of support the administration is offering cities who are receiving migrants, the press secretary said, “So we would refer you to the Department of Defense, specifically, which makes the decision on the question of the National Guard, as it relates to DC, the mayor of D.C. FEMA is also– FEMA’s providing support, including through grant funding, so we are helping in that regard.
“We have had constructive conversations with Mayor Bowser and her team. We’ll continue to do that. We’ve been working with them as we do with all other electeds as well, but we are indeed providing support through FEMA and having those conversations with leaders,” Jean-Pierre said.
When asked whether the administration is talking to Governor Abbott or his office, the press secretary said, “I don’t have any calls to read out to you besides what I just said at the beginning of that original question.”