CNN’s Priscilla Alvarez spoke to a number of these asylum-seekers, many of whom are from Venezuela, Colombia, Nicaragua, and Cuba. “After being released, the migrants said they were offered a bus ride to Washington DC,” she tweeted. “It was voluntary.” If we’re trying to find a silver lining to this stunt, and Lord knows that’s needed these days, its that Abbott’s scheme has meant a free ticket for these vulnerable people. Hopefully some are now closer to reuniting with family already here.
”From DC, some of the migrants are heading to other US cities,” Alvarez continued. Some are headed to Florida, observers noted. “At their final destination, they’re expected to report to ICE and will continue the immigration process,” Alvarez continued.
Look for the treatment of these asylum-seekers when they reach Florida, because the state under another right-wing official, Ron DeSantis, has aided another Abbott border scheme, Operation Lone Star. Here, American Immigration Council Senior Policy Counsel Aaron Reichlin-Melnick raises an important point: Will Marco Rubio “decry Abbott’s treatment of Venezuelan asylum seekers”? Maybe he’ll just ignore them. Maybe he’ll accuse them of not being real Venezuelans, as he recently did to Venezuelan activists simply because they challenged him.
“As a long-time DC resident, I hate seeing our town used again as a political prop,” Reichlin-Melnick continued in his thread. “Guess what, Greg Abbott. We’re not afraid of migrants. We are a vibrant immigrant community that has already welcomed tens of thousands of migrants in the last few years. We have heart—unlike you.”
Tim Young, press secretary for refugee resettlement agency Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service tweeted that while Texas had not informed any D.C. area groups about the arrivals, “faith organizations, community groups, and kind-hearted Americans stand ready to answer the call to help.” Reichlin-Melnick said the White House should fight Abbott by inviting these asylum-seekers to the White House. “I’m totally serious about this,” he wrote. “The White House could use this as an opportunity to lean in and send a message about welcoming. If the asylum seekers are willing, they can tell people their stories, put a face and a story to a group that is often portrayed as faceless mobs.”
There are no words to describe the gross nature of Abbott’s cruel stunt—or the man himself, for that matter. To think of human beings as nothing more than props, and making it all the more worse is that these are the same people who without any hesitation would refer to themselves as “pro-life” and “pro-family.” Bullshit. You can’t even really say that he cares only about white people, because he’s also willing to make their lives miserable in the name of winning reelection and owning the libs.