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Texas has transported more than 900 illegal immigrants to Washington D.C., in an effort to get the attention of federal lawmakers and persuade the Biden administration to take action in securing the southern border, Gov. Gregg Abbott said.
The busing of migrants to the nation’s capital is part of Operation Lone Star, a joint effort between the National Guard and Texas agencies to clamp down on the flow of migrants coming into Texas from Mexico and to stop the flow of weapons, drugs and human trafficking.
Since launching in April, 922 migrants have been transported to Washington in 35 buses, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Friday.
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“Operation Lone Star continues to fill the dangerous gaps left by the Biden Administration’s refusal to secure the border,” a news release from Abbott’s office said. “Every individual who is apprehended or arrested and every ounce of drugs seized would have otherwise made their way into communities across Texas and the nation due to President Biden’s open border policies.”
Abbott, a Republican, decided to create the busing operation following news that Biden was going to end Title 42, a Trump-era public health order that allowed authorities to turn away migrants at the border. In response, Abbott ordered the state Division of Emergency Management to charter buses to take those in Texas communities to D.C.
Since Operation Lone Star began, more than 246,000 migrants have been apprehended along with 15,000 criminal arrests. More than 4,800 weapons and over $38 million in currency have been seized as well, Abbott’s office said.
In March alone, the U.S.-Mexico border saw 221,000 migrants. That number is expected to increase once Title 42 is lifted.
The Biden administration said it is planning for worst-case scenarios of seeing up to 18,000 migrants at the border daily.
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Several Republican-controlled states are suing to block the order from being lifted. On the federal level, House Republicans introduced a bill Friday that would suspend the entry of illegal immigrants into the United States.