Due to his ongoing strategy of busing migrants to significant Democratic-led cities in the north, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has come under fire from the state’s largest newspaper for “sowing chaos.” Since August 2022, Texas officials have been busing newly arrived migrants from the southern border to various major metropolitan areas in the north run by Democratic leaders who have clashed with Abbott and other GOP lawmakers on border security policies. Since then, the programme has seen around 34,000 migrants transported to New York City alone, causing particular difficulties for the city that boasts a longstanding “right-to-shelter” law. Earlier this month, PBS reported that around 160,000 migrants have arrived in New York City overall since the spring of 2022.
The editorial board of the Houston Chronicle called Abbott a “genius” for the tactic, which it characterized as a “devious plot,” crediting the busing program for shifting Democratic rhetoric on border security issues. The piece titled, “If migrants bused from Texas can’t make it in New York, can they make it anywhere?” accused the governor of “sowing chaos” without offering real solutions and called the tactic “cruel [and] opportunistic.”
The piece suggested various ways that lawmakers can address the migrant situation by streamlining the processes that allow them to seek asylum and begin contributing to the cities where they end up. Specifically, the editorial board called for the expedition of work permits for migrants, as many new migrants have myriad skills and yearn to work and contribute to the city. The federal government should also bolster the number of asylum officers employed at the U.S.-Mexico border and implement a system that grants priority to newer arrivals to help clear the backlog of 1.6 million pending asylum cases.