First bus of illegal border crossers arrives in Denver from Texas
Thu, May 18, 2023 3:47 PM
By Bethany Blankley, The Center Square
The first bus of illegal foreign nationals arrived in Denver, Colorado, on Thursday from Texas.
Denver is now the fifth self-described “sanctuary city” to receive people who’ve illegally entered the U.S. in Texas.
The majority being released into the U.S are being released unlawfully by the Biden administration, Gov. Greg Abbott argues, instead of being processed for deportation.
Rather than have them inundate small Texas communities, the Texas governor began a busing strategy last April to provide “much-needed relief to our small border towns.”
Texas first bused people to Washington, D.C., then New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia and now Denver.
On Thursday afternoon, the first bus of illegal foreign nationals was dropped off near Civic Center Park at 14th Street and Court Place in Denver.
"Texas' overwhelmed and overrun border communities should not have to shoulder the flood of illegal immigration due to President Biden's reckless open border policies, like his mass catch and release without court dates or any way to track them," Abbott said when announcing the latest “sanctuary city” destination. "Until the President and his Administration step up and fulfill their constitutional duty to secure the border, the State of Texas will continue busing migrants to self-declared sanctuary cities like Denver."
In April 2022, he first directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management to charter buses to transport foreign nationals who’d illegally entered the U.S in Texas and released by the Biden administration, he said, to provide “much-needed relief to Texas' overwhelmed border communities.”
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said the shipping of migrants amounts to "political theater."
“What is happening at the border, and what is showing up at the doorsteps of cities across the country, is a humanitarian crisis. What none of us need is more political theater and partisan gamesmanship pitting jurisdictions against each other and exacerbating this situation instead of advocating for real solutions to this challenge," he said. "If Gov. Abbott thinks he’s going to win over allies to his cause here in Denver with this latest stunt, he’s going to be sorely mistaken. And we’re more than happy to send him the bill for any additional support we have to provide now because of his failure at managing his own state.”
Transportation is voluntary. All adults and guardians of minors must sign a waiver to receive free transportation paid for by Texas taxpayers. Those being transported also choose their destination city.
The Democratic-run city of El Paso has its own busing strategy and has sent more people to New York City and Chicago than Texas has. City officials argue these two cities are the destinations of choice of illegal foreign nationals arriving in El Paso.
The first Denver bus arrived after three additional buses arrived in Washington, D.C. ahead of Title 42 ending last week. One group of roughly 50 was dropped off in front of Vice President Kamala Harris’ residence at the U.S. Naval Observatory in northwest D.C., according to several news reports. Shortly before 6:30 am on Thursday, May 11, two Texas buses dropped off foreign nationals in front of her residence, ABC 7 News WJLA reported.
Since last April until May 12, Texas has bused more than 9,200 to Washington, D.C., over 5,700 to New York City, more than 1,600 to Chicago and over 925 to Philadelphia.
The governor’s office said Thursday the total number is up by roughly 2,000 to over 19,000 people who’ve been bused to now five self-declared sanctuary cities.
The Democratic mayors of the first four cities have all declared emergencies, saying they can’t handle the influx of a few thousand people.
Last month alone, 152,683 illegal foreign nationals were apprehended or reported evading capture in the five southern border CBP sectors in Texas. Texas has the most sectors out of nine southwest sectors, sharing the majority of the border with Mexico of 1,254 miles.
The 19,000 sent to five cities in one year, Abbott argues, doesn’t come close to the number of people illegally entering Texas in a single region in one month.
In the Del Rio Sector last month, for example, there were 21,950 apprehensions and 13,736 reported gotaways – those who are known and reported to have illegally entered the U.S. and evaded capture.
Every month, this one sector alone is reporting nearly as many gotaways as the entire number that’s been sent to four sanctuary cities.
Del Rio Sector Border Patrol agents reported roughly 16,000 gotaways in January, 15,000 in February, nearly 16,000 in March and nearly 14,000 in April, according to data previously reported by The Center Square. Law enforcement officials don’t know who or where they are.