Texas Gov., Biden Admin Escalate Fight Over Illegal Aliens Surge

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(Bethany Blankley, The Center Square) The battle between the state of Texas and the Biden administration over a surge in illegal immigration since 2021 escalated after a California newspaper reported the administration is considering “forcing migrant families to remain in Texas.”

The Los Angeles Times Thursday story cites anonymous sources who claim the administration is considering “forcing some migrants families who enter the country without authorization to remain near the border in Texas while awaiting asylum screening, effectively limiting their ability to travel within the United States.”

The anonymous sources acknowledge that foreign nationals are illegally entering the U.S. in Texas and the Biden administration is neither deporting them nor requiring them to remain in Mexico. The administration, after several years of litigation, was able to end the Remain in Mexico policy, which was implemented by the Trump administration to minimize illegal border crossings.

Unlike the previous administration, the Biden administration plan would reportedly require illegal border crossers to remain in Texas, not Mexico, as they await asylum hearings.

“The Biden plan would force certain migrant families to remain in Texas – or possibly other border states – by tracking their location through GPS monitoring devices, such as ankle bracelets, according to the three officials, who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter,” the Times reports.

In response, Gov. Greg Abbott posted from his personal X account, stating, “[President Joe] Biden considers forcing migrant families to remain in Texas. This scam was tried years ago & was shot down by a judge. We will send Biden the same swift justice.

“And, we will add even more buses of migrants to Washington D.C.”

The Times report is referring to the Family Expedited Removal Management program. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has explained that “The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to imposing immigration consequences in a safe and humane manner to those who fail to use available lawful pathways and unlawfully enter the United States.”

The FERM process, DHS says, “places certain family unit heads of household on Alternatives to Detention, following apprehension at the Southwest Border and placement into expedited removal. The process provides supervision while the family awaits an interview to assess their credible fear of persecution or torture. FERM enrollment consists of GPS monitoring with a mandatory home curfew, 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., daily.

“While FERM initially began in four locations, DHS is quickly expanding to cities across the country and is removing families who are determined to be ineligible for relief and are ordered removed through this non-detained enforcement process.”

Abbott has remained resolute in his strategy to bus illegal border crossers to self-described “sanctuary cities” across the U.S, which he began in April 2022 “to provide much needed relief to border communities.”

Since then, and as of Sept. 1, Texas has bused more than 34,740 illegal foreign nationals to six sanctuary cities, according to data from the governor’s office. The cities, all run by Democratic mayors, have declared states of emergencies, claiming they can’t handle the influx.

By comparison, between 3,000 and 5,000 people illegally enter Texas a day between ports of entry. In July alone this year, they totaled over 87,000.

The nation’s capital was the first destination city to receive busloads of people. Its mayor and city officials declared the District of Columbia was a sanctuary city for people who were in the country illegally. After a few hundred began arriving, its mayor declared a state of emergency and asked for help from the federal government, including multiple requests for National Guard troops, which were denied.

Since April 2022, Texas has bused 11,300 people to Washington, D.C.

By August 2022, Abbott added two destination cities – New York City and Chicago. Since then, more than 13,100 people have been bused to New York City and over 6,400 to Chicago.

By November 2022, he added Philadelphia as a destination city. Since then, more than 2,500 people have chosen to be bused there.

This year, Abbott added two additional destination cities: Denver and Los Angeles. Since May of this year, more than 1,000 people chose to be bused to Denver; since June, over 440 to Los Angeles.

All Texas transportation to self-described sanctuary cities is voluntary. All adults must sign waivers for themselves and minors under their care. Passengers voluntarily choose the destination city of their choice. Transportation is free to passengers and costs Texas taxpayers millions of dollars.

The Democratic mayors have described Abbott’s busing strategy as “cruel” and “inhumane.”

The White House does not appear to have issued a statement in response to the Times report.

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