YUMA, Ariz. — Following Texas’ lead, Arizona this week began busing migrants to Washington D.C.

What You Need To Know

  • Arizona this week began busing migrants to Washington D.C. Texas started the program about a month ago

  • The trips are voluntary, begin in Yuma, and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey indicated he will push the federal government to cover expenses

  • The program, which is in protest of the Biden administration’s border policies, comes shortly before the Trump-era Title 42 public health border policy is set to expire

  • Texas has so far sent at least 10 busloads of migrants to the nation’s capital

It’s a trek of more than 2,000 miles, and it comes a little more than a week before the Trump-era Title 42 border policy is scheduled to end.

The busing policy was announced by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey in a statement issued Wednesday.

“With Arizona community resources under all-time demand, and little action or assistance from the federal government, individuals who entered Arizona seeking asylum have the opportunity to voluntarily be transported to Washington, D.C.,” the statement reads. “The transportation will include meals, and onboard staffing and support.”

According to the Arizona Daily Star, the first bus arrived in Washington on Wednesday from Yuma. It transported 20 migrants, all of whom volunteered for the trip. The report additionally says Ducey plans on billing Washington for expenses.

The bus trips are in protest of the Biden administration’s border policies. The first busload of migrants from Texas arrived in the capital on April 13. A Spectrum News camera was rolling as migrants arrived. 

In the past month, Texas has sent at least 10 buses to Washington. Busing migrants from Texas to the nation’s capital is just one of the measures Abbott put in place in response to the Biden administration ending Title 42, a policy which limits the number of asylum seekers permitted into the country in order to curb the spread of COVID-19.

It’s anticipated that Title 42 ending will lead to an uptick in migrants seeking asylum in the U.S.

"As the federal government continues to turn a blind eye to the border crisis, the State of Texas will remain steadfast in our efforts to fill in the gaps and keep Texans safe," Abbott wrote in a news release. "By busing migrants to Washington, D.C., the Biden Administration will be able to more immediately meet the needs of the people they are allowing to cross our border. Texas should not have to bear the burden of the Biden Administration’s failure to secure our border." 

Abbott’s policy has been criticized by the White House as well as Texas lawmakers.

Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston, told Spectrum News she would not be surprised if there is litigation against Abbott and she believes his plan is unconstitutional. 

“The very idea that he thinks he should get involved… Put them [migrants] on a bus paid for by our taxpayers, all the way up here to Washington, D.C. to just make a political point. It’s just a political stunt. And it’s worse. It’s shameful, because we’re talking about families, we’re talking about children. People that are fleeing violence or fleeing poverty,” Garcia said.