On Thursday Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick announced a significant plan to relocate migrants out of Texas. The strategy, supported by Governor Greg Abbott, involves the transportation of migrants via planes, trains, and buses to various locations across the United States.
“We’re going to put them on planes, we’re going to put them on trains, we’re going to put them on buses, we’re going to do whatever we can. We’re going to get them out of Texas,” Lt. Gov. Patrick stated.
“I want to send them all to Martha’s Vineyard. I want to send them all to Delaware and Rehoboth. I want to send them all to where they start feeling the pain that our citizens feel on the border and across Texas every day.”
Republican Texas Gov. Abbott escalated his migrant transportation program by sending a plane with over 120 migrants from the U.S.-Mexico border to Chicago. The move follows Abbott’s initiative of providing free transportation to more than 80,000 migrants to Democrat-led cities since last year, according to The Associated Press.
The first flight, departing from El Paso, arrived in Chicago a week after the city council enacted measures to address the influx of migrants arriving by bus, which Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson has criticized.
In response to the influx, Chicago has proposed stricter penalties for bus operators who fail to comply with regulations, such as unloading at designated areas or completing necessary paperwork. Andrew Mahaleris, a spokesperson for Abbott, attributed the initiation of these flights to Mayor Johnson’s actions against Texas migrant buses.
The development comes shortly after Governor Abbott signed a law allowing the arrest of migrants crossing the border illegally, intensifying Texas’ actions against President Biden’s immigration policies. As part of Operation Lone Star, Abbott’s border mission, over 23,000 migrants have been sent to Chicago by bus.
The costly Operation Lone Star includes measures like installing razor wire along the border, placing buoy barriers in the Rio Grande, and increasing law enforcement presence. Recently, a federal appeals court temporarily halted the Biden administration’s efforts to remove the concertina wire on the border amid ongoing legal proceedings.
Abbott enacted Senate Bill 4 earlier this week, a law allowing state law enforcement to detain individuals suspected of unauthorized entry across the U.S.-Mexico border. The new law classifies unauthorized entry into Texas as a Class B misdemeanor, potentially leading to 180 days in jail and/or a $2,000 fine. Repeat offenses or illegal reentry after deportation can escalate to felonies, with harsher penalties including longer jail terms and higher fines.
SB4 also allows for the issuance of orders for individuals arrested under these offenses to return to their country of origin, potentially in lieu of prosecution. The law represents a significant enhancement in Texas’ border security approach, particularly under the Biden administration.
Additionally, SB4 provides immunity for state or local officials enforcing this law from liability for damages, with state and local governments required to indemnify these individuals for any federal law-related damages.
As the plan unfolds, the Lone Star State continues to lead the way.