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Texas Governor Greg Abbott vows to send people who illegally cross border to DC

The call came as Gov. Abbott voiced opposition to President Biden lifting Title 42, the public health policy the Trump administration started during the pandemic.

WASHINGTON — Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) announced Wednesday that the state will send any people who are undocumented and cross the U.S. border from Mexico to the steps of the US Capitol. 

The announcement came as Gov. Abbott voiced opposition to President Joe Biden lifting Title 42, the public health policy the Trump administration started during the COVID-19 pandemic. It allows the government to quickly expel migrants and asylum seekers who come to the U.S. from countries where an infectious disease -- like COVID-19 -- is present.

On Wednesday, Abbott said he decided on the plan after speaking with leaders of cities and counties along the border.

"They are angry and upset about all of the catastrophes caused by the Biden open border policies and they are urgently asking for action," he said. "It’s the Biden administration that caused this open border problem.”

Abbott did not disclose specific details about the plan but said charter buses would be provided to send the people seeking asylum to the Capitol.

Following the speech by the governor, the Central American Resource Center spoke to WUSA 9 about the plan's possible impact on D.C. 

"I think a lot of it is just political theater at this moment," said executive director Abel Nunez. "It’s an election year and it’s a very controversial issue.”

The Central American Resource Center, which is located in Columbia Heights and was formed around 40 years ago, features an immigration legal clinic that helps people who are undocumented through the temporary protective status and green card renewal process.

With Gov. Abbott facing stiff competition from popular Democratic candidate Beto O'Rourke, Nunez believed much of Wednesday's announcement was show.

"I think the governor of Texas is using this as political theater just to score political points," he said. "To the extent that he’ll be paying money to send people here, I think it’s more in the realm of rhetoric.”

Nunez believes if Abbott does follow through on his promise, only a few buses may actually show up in D.C.

However, even if this were to occur, he said the district would be ready.

"If they come here, there is already a structure of nonprofit organizations that will be able to handle the flow of individuals," Nunez said. 

"We do have a high population of Central Americans in the DMV so if he wants to give them a free ticket to come to this area, so be it," he added. "It is one cost those immigrants won’t have to bear.” 

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