More than 11,000 migrants bussed to other US cities, Gov. Abbott's office says

Chaz Miller Image
Friday, September 16, 2022
Gov. Abbott's office says they've bussed more than 11,000 migrants to other cities
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According to the Texas Division of Emergency Management, the state has spent over $12 million on trips to transport migrants.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Jose Muñoz said he didn't see many other Venezuelans when he first came to Houston in 1997.

"There were maybe 100," Muñoz, who owns Houston-area restaurant Sabor Venezolano, said.

That figure has grown exponentially over the years due to political unrest in the country.

In 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Venezuelans accounted for some of the highest number of border encounters for individuals not from Mexico or Central America's Northern Triangle.

SEE RELATED: Gov. Abbott sends migrants to VP Kamala Harris' home after she called border secure

The migrant busing policy, which Abbott started as a way to antagonize the White House over its border policies, appears to be catching on among other GOP governors. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis chartered two planes of migrants to Martha's Vineyard on Wednesday.

That trend continues into 2022, which Muñoz said can prove difficult for individuals moving here without a support system.

"You need somebody to support you. When I came to the United States, my sister-in-law lived here," Muñoz said. "How can you come to the United States if you don't know anybody here?"

That was the restaurant-owner's reaction to Thursday's news that Venezuelan migrants were flown to Massachusetts by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Here in Texas, they have been bussing migrants to other cities in America since April.

Governor Abbott's office provided updated numbers on Friday, saying over 8,100 migrants have been sent to Washington D.C., more than 2,500 have been sent to New York City, and over 600 have been sent to Chicago.

SEE ALSO: ACLU calls on feds to investigate Gov. Greg Abbott's policy transporting migrants back to border

The ACLU asked DHS to monitor the Eagle Pass port of entry to ensure federal agents are acting appropriately, amongst abiding by other responsibilities.

In addition to those numbers, ABC13 reached out to the Texas Division of Emergency Management who said the state has spent over $12 million on those trips.

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