Abbott, a Republican, wrote on Twitter that his busing strategy provides “much-needed relief to overwhelmed border communities” and has transported 8,100 illegal aliens to Washington, 2,600 to New York, and 675 to Chicago.
Chicago received another busload filled with illegal immigrants on Sept. 20, officials confirmed to local media outlets. A total of 74 new arrivals were transported to Chicago from Texas in the latest round.
And last week, Abbott sent buses of illegal aliens to the Washington home of Vice President Kamala Harris. The vice president has yet to issue a public response to the drop-off.
The announcement comes as New York Mayor Eric Adams told CNN that about a half-dozen buses filled with illegal aliens arrived in the city on Sept. 17 and 18. Noting that those individuals were transported from Texas, Adams again criticized Abbott’s program and threatened unspecified legal action.
On Sept. 18, Adams told the network that his “legal team is looking at what legal challenges we could do with Texas.”
“We believe there’s some options we have because when you involuntarily place someone on a bus, we believe that actually skates the law,” he said.
DeSantis Office Responds to Suit
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s office responded to a lawsuit filed by illegal immigrants who were transported to Martha’s Vineyard, saying that they voluntarily went on the flight and signed a consent form.
The lawsuit (pdf) was filed by a pro-migration organization on behalf of three individuals and alleged that DeSantis engaged in a “fraudulent” and “illegal” scheme to coerce the illegal immigrants to board the flight.
“The transportation of the immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard was done on a voluntary basis. The immigrants were homeless, hungry, and abandoned … and these activists didn’t care about them then,” DeSantis’s office said in a statement to media outlets this week.
Activists are using these illegal immigrants for “political theatre,” and if they “spent even a fraction of this time and effort at the border, perhaps some accountability would be brought to the Biden administration’s reckless border policies,” according to the statement.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) also criticized the suit and noted that those individuals “came into this country illegally” and are now using U.S. laws “to sue an elected governor, to sue a state.”
“Just think about that. They just got here. They’re not even here legally,” Rubio told Fox News on Sept. 20. “They didn’t enter the country the proper way. And they’re immediately in court demanding rights and claims under our laws. This is outrageous.”
According to the suit, the illegal migrants were allegedly coerced to board the planes relocating them from Texas with allegedly false promises of housing, work, schooling, and other aid.
Last week, about 50 illegal aliens who reportedly originated from Venezuela were sent to Martha’s Vineyard, a Massachusetts island that’s popular with wealthy Democrat elites. Hours later, the governor of the state activated the National Guard and transported them to a military base on Cape Cod.
DeSantis, a Republican, said the move was designed to highlight what he says is an ongoing and escalating crisis along the U.S.–Mexico border and to say that Florida isn’t a sanctuary state.