Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says the state will provide migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border bus charters to Washington, D.C.
The move announced Wednesday amounts to a taunt at President Joe Biden and Congress over what the Republican governor calls a failure by the federal government to stop the flow of migrants coming to the southern border.
Abbott had promised “unprecedented actions” after the Biden administration announced it was winding down a public health law that has limited asylum-seekers in the name of preventing the spread of COVID-19. The health policy, known as the Title 42 authority, is now set to expire in May.
When that happens, it is expected to draw potentially thousands more migrants to the southern border.
The orders further expand a multibillion-dollar Texas border security mission that Abbott, who is running for reelection in November, has made the cornerstone of his administration. Already, Texas has deployed thousands of troopers and National Guard members, installed new border barrier and jailed migrants on trespassing charges.
Texas officials also said they would begin “increased military activity” on the border and install razor wire at some low-water along the river to deter migrants from crossing.
Border Patrol officials say they are planning for as many as 18,000 arrivals daily once the health policy expires in May. Last week, about 7,100 migrants were coming a day to the southern U.S. border.
Additional reporting by The Associated Press.