Gov. Greg Abbott says more migrant busloads on the way to D.C.

Gun Rights

Gov. Greg Abbott is vowing to send more buses of migrants to Washington, D.C. despite that city’s mayor having to call for help from the National Guard to help with the influx of people coming from Texas.

During a speech in Dallas to the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday, Abbott said D.C. officials are now feeling what Texas feels every day as the surge of migrants continues to come across the border. Abbott said Texas has now sent more than 6,500 immigrants to D.C. and they cannot handle it.

“I got one thing to tell you and tell them, there are more buses on the way as we gather at this conference today,” Abbott said to cheers.

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Last week, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser called for the National Guard to help D.C. to deal with an influx of migrants coming to the city.

“We need space and we need the federal government to be involved,” Bowser said at a press conference last week.

D.C. officials have specifically requested the National Guard turn the D.C. Armory or another site around the area into a processing center for migrants.

Abbott began busing migrants to D.C. because he said federal border officials were rerouting immigrants to San Antonio and other Texas cities, straining human services programs. He said by sending the immigrants to D.C. he’s showing other cities what Texas is dealing with since President Joe Biden took office.

Abbott’s program cannot force migrants to go to D.C., but many migrants are accepting the offer to get to immigrant-friendly D.C., which has declared itself a sanctuary city and has large populations of Central American migrants already in the area. More than 400,000 of the 1.6 million border crossings since October have been by people from Honduras, Guatemala or El Salvador, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Abbott has been unapologetic about sending migrants north. Just on Monday, he sent a letter to New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Bowser pressing them to come to Texas to see how much worse the situation is for small cities and towns in Texas than what they are experiencing.

“As Governor, I invite you to visit our border region to see firsthand the dire situation that only grows more urgent with each passing day, and to meet with the local officials, who like yourselves, realize this matter deserves immediate federal action,” Abbott said in the letter. “I also ask you to join me in requesting President Biden secure the border and put an end to this disastrous crisis.”

During his CPAC speech on Thursday, Abbott heaped praise on former President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, specifically his efforts to build more walls and fences along the Texas border. Trump speaks to the group on Saturday, his first speech in Texas since May when he spoke at the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in Houston.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick also had a 15-minute slot on Thursday’s agenda, using his time on stage to offer much of the same advice he did at the Texas GOP convention in June: Republicans should unite ahead of the November election, no matter their place on the political spectrum, and they should also embrace God in their day-to-day lives.

“We are not the enemy,” Patrick said. “We must come together as one. We must do that in Texas. Because make no mistake: This election in November is not going to be an easy election.”

Cayla Harris contributed reporting.

jeremy.wallace@chron.com

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