Thursday, April 18

Second bus drops off migrants near Capitol

A second bus of Latin American asylum applicants arrived in Washington, D.C., from Texas early Thursday as part of GOP Gov. Greg Abbott’s push to augment the national visibility of the Biden administration’s asylum policies.

The bus, which transported Nicaraguan, Cuban, Venezuelan and Colombian nationals, dropped off the prospective asylees outside of the building that houses the Washington bureau of Fox News, which broke the story. Other media organizations are also in the building.

While the first bus that arrived at the Capitol on Wednesday was carrying at least 20 people, the bus that arrived near the Capitol on Thursday had 14 people in it.

The migrants, who are legally in the country awaiting official determination of their asylum claims, voluntarily agreed to be bussed to Washington as part of Abbott’s initiative.

Migrants who enter the United States without prior authorization to present an asylum claim have to prove they have a “credible fear” of persecution if they return to their home country.

In some cases, those migrants are allowed to freely live in the United States while their claims are processed by immigration courts.

Many border communities in Texas have for years complained that they are burdened with a disproportionate share of the costs of receiving asylum-seekers while also serving as a first landing spot for many undocumented immigrants who surreptitiously cross the border.

And a wide array of politicians, immigration restrictionist groups and others have made claims connecting asylum-seekers to illegal immigration and local crime rates.

“They’re going to see, with all these people invading Washington, D.C., like they’ve invaded our border states, and it may make them realize how bad it is,” Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) told Fox News Thursday.

Also Read  For high court nominees 'When's your birthday?' matters

“Every state is being flooded with illegals, which is bringing along with it fentanyl, human trafficking and increased crime,” he added.

A 2020 working paper by the libertarian Cato Institute found “basically … no relationship” between crime rates and illegal immigration in Texas between 2012 and 2018.

Still, many Republicans are doubling down on immigration and border security as midterm issues amid an expected rise in the number of unauthorized crossings this summer.

Republicans are especially pushing the issue because the Biden administration decided to end Title 42, a Trump-era border management policy that used the coronavirus pandemic as a justification to deny migrants their right to claim asylum.

While the policy was deemed by many immigration experts to be a failure, both as a supposed sanitary measure and as a border management tool, its termination at the end of May could spur human smugglers to portray the policy change as a relaxation in U.S. border security policies.

That messaging, added to seasonal migration patterns and a changing global migration landscape, has many experts worried that this summer could bring record numbers of migrants to the U.S.-Mexico border, both seeking asylum and trying to cross illegally.

This story was updated at 3 p.m.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *