Photo Courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Taken by Yesica Uvina
Department of Homeland Security officials have reportedly referred to the scheme as the “Abbott plan”, referring to Texas Governor Abbott’s decision to bus immigrants from Texas to DC.
Internal DHS documents obtained by NBC News tell of the department’s plans to ship migrants who are waiting for immigration proceedings from cities along the southern border deeper into the interior of the country.
The plan is meant to alleviate overcrowding at facilities along the border, where a record number of crossings have overwhelmed the capacity of existing shelters.
Under the Biden administration’s current policies, migrants who are authorized to remain in the country and make asylum claims are released to nonprofit shelters after being released from Border Patrol custody.
From there, migrants must pay out of pocket for transportation to other cities where they await a hearing before immigration judges who rule on their asylum claims.
Biden’s new plan would use federal funds to send migrants to shelters across the country before they depart for their final destinations. To start they will be sent to Los Angeles, but they will eventually be sent to Albuquerque, Houston, Dallas, and other cities as the need arises.
In a statement, a DHS spokesperson said, “DHS will continue to closely coordinate with and support cities and NGOs to facilitate the movement of any individual encountered at the Southwest border who is placed into removal proceedings pending the next steps in their immigration proceedings.”
The migrant crisis, which is already seeing record numbers of crossings per month, is expected to dramatically increase as Title 42 is lifted. In April, the last month for which data is available, Border Patrol recorded a record 234,088 crossings in just that month.