The Biden Administration is reimbursing the city of El Paso, Texas for migrant buses it’s sending to New York City. As reported by El Paso Matters, one bus left last Tuesday with 35 migrants from Venezuela and another bus left later in the week. This practice is expected to continue and is being funded with FEMA grants.
El Paso City officials said chartering the buses is part of an effort to manage the growing number of arriving migrants. They are receiving help from faith based groups both in El Paso and at the final destinations; one of the buses from El Paso carried 50 immigrants to Faith Forward locations in Dallas.
“OEM has sponsored and provided transportation services for migrants out of El Paso, which is reimbursable through (the Federal Emergency Management Agency),” Deputy City Manager Mario D’Agostino told El Paso Matters in an email. “OEM has sponsored charter buses to include a recent transport to New York City, this was the preferred destination for those without any means to travel.”
This development is extremely similar to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) transporting migrants from Texas to Washington, D.C. and New York. That effort began in April when Abbott signed an executive order mandating the Texas Division of Emergency Management charter buses to D.C. The first bus arrived in New York City in August.
The White House and other Democratic political leaders have called Abbot’s actions “shameful”.
“We believe it’s shameful that some governors are using migrants as a political tool, as a political play,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during a briefing Jul. 19.
According to El Paso officials, the federal government is footing the bill.
So far, thousands of immigrants have taken the buses from Texas. The trip is free, they’re required to sign a form stating they were not obligated to get on, and they are often greeted by volunteers or city officials who help them get started when they arrive.