Texas company paid $75m in one year to bus migrants out of state

‘Texas has since bused over 54,000 migrants to self-declared sanctuary cities, providing much-needed relief,’ Texas Gov Greg Abbott’s spokesperson explained

Kelly Rissman
Thursday 12 October 2023 21:54 BST
Over 18,000 migrants have arrived in Chicago since last year

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Texas paid over $75m to a private company over one year to transport migrants out of the state and into sanctuary cities across the country.

From August 2022 through August 2023, the state paid Wynne Transportation $75,561,032.72, according to transaction data provided by the Texas Department of Emergency Management, reported ABC13.

Among other services, the company’s website says, “Wynne Transportation provides services to businesses, corporations, academic clients, municipal, and government agencies who are interested in contract services, custom transportation services, and more.”

The outlet obtained a statement from Texas Gov Greg Abbott’s office on Wednesday.

Mr Abbott’s spokesperson, Andrew Mahaleris, told ABC13, “Governor Abbott launched the border bus mission in April 2022 to provide support to our overrun and overwhelmed border communities as the Biden Administration dumps thousands of migrants in their towns. Texas has since bused over 54,000 migrants to self-declared sanctuary cities, providing much-needed relief.”

He added, “In recent weeks, border officials and NGOs in border communities have requested additional support to respond to the unprecedented surges enticed by President Biden’s reckless open border policies. Until President Biden steps up and does his job to secure the border, Texas will continue busing migrants to sanctuary cities to help our local partners respond to this Biden-made crisis.”

Gov Abbott’s office boasted the number of migrants sent to each city in a press release last week as part of “Operation Lone Star,” a multi-agency effort “ to respond to a rise in illegal immigration,” according to Texas Indigent Defense Commission.

The release stated that Texas has bused at least 12,500 migrants to Washington, DC since April 2022, 18,500 to New York City and over 13,500 migrants to Chicago since August 2022, over 3,200 migrants to Philadelphia since November 2022, over 3,200 migrants to Denver since May 18, and over 940 migrants to Los Angeles since 14 June 2023.

While sanctuary cities have offered many migrants a place to stay, some cities are strained for resources. New York Gov Kathy Hochul last month warned that “Places like New York really are at capacity.”

She added, We have large hearts, we want to be generous and supportive to people who are experiencing a humanitarian crisis. But there is a limit to what we can do.”

On 2 October, Illinois Gov JB Pritzker wrote a letter to President Biden, asking for federal assistance as the migrant crisis in his state is “overwhelming.” Without calling out Texas or Gov Abbott by name, but in an apparent reference to both, Mr Pritzker penned: “Allowing just one state to lay the burden upon a certain few states run by Democrats is untenable.”

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