Gov. Greg Abbott fulfilled his promise to bus migrants to DC this week, flooding the nation’s capital with a whopping… 70 people. Seriously, three busloads over three days and that’s all Abbott could muster. Not great for Texas’ reputation as the state where everything’s bigger.
After living and reporting in DC for more than half a year I can tell you that buses of people showing up from out of town is called Tuesday. Does Abbott not realize how many eighth grade school trips and people who want to take selfies at the monuments we receive on a daily basis? Especially now that it’s spring and the weather is getting nicer. All that we DC residents notice is some extra people on the wrong side of the subway escalator (seriously guys, if you’re gonna visit learn to stand on the right and walk on the left. We’re not animals, we live in a society).
Abbott’s idea of sending a message bussing a handful of people to a city that sees tens of millions of visitors every year isn’t much of a message. The total number of immigrants in the DC metro area is 1.3 million, 70 is less than a rounding error.
More important, once the migrants arrive in DC there’s nothing keeping them here. In fact, many of the migrants Abbott sent over said they wanted to come since they knew it would be easier to get to their final destination from DC than from the border. After all, it’s not like there’s a high risk of being arrested by Border Patrol if they hop on a bus or train to another part of the country. One group of Venezuelan migrants say they plan to go to Miami, so perhaps Abbott is inadvertently sending a message to Ron Desantis rather than Biden.
Of course, it’s highly unlikely that Abbott believed he could “flood” DC with people or have any impact on federal immigration policy. For one thing, the bussing is voluntary for the migrants as it would be illegal if it weren’t. This is clearly a political stunt being made during an election year. Even some of Abbott’s fellow Republicans can see through his gimmicks.
Oh well, at least this stunt isn’t actually creating any negative ramifications for Texas, unlike his border “enhanced” inspection stunt at the border.
And to the migrants who have just arrived (assuming you’re still here and not en route to Miami) I want to say welcome, and please stand on the right and walk on the left when you’re on the escalator.