Three buses carrying families of migrants from Texas arrived at the home of US Vice President Kamala Harris on Christmas Eve and amid unprecedented cold.
Texas officials have not confirmed their involvement in the move, but the action was similar to previous moves organized by border state governors to draw attention to the immigration policies of the Joe Biden administration.
According to SAMU First Response CEO Tatiana Laborde, the buses arrived in front of the vice president’s residence Saturday night, carrying 110 to 130 people. in recent months.
Laborde said local organizers expected the buses to arrive on Sunday, but learned on Saturday that the group would arrive in Washington early. Families include young children.
Some wore only T-shirts despite the temperature being around minus 9 °C (15 °F). According to the Washington Post, it was the coldest Christmas Eve ever recorded in the US capital.
Laborde explained that he had blankets ready for those who arrived on Christmas Eve and quickly transferred them to other waiting buses to take them to a local church. A local restaurant chain donated dinner and breakfast for the families.
Most of the new arrivals were headed for other destinations and were expected to stay in Washington only briefly.
Texas Govt. Greg Abbott’s office did not respond to requests for comment Sunday morning. However, his office reported last week that Texas has provided bus rides for more than 15,000 people in Washington, New York, Chicago and Philadelphia since April.
Abbott and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, both Republicans, have been strident critics of President Biden over the way he has handled the issue of the US-Mexico border, where thousands try to cross daily, many seeking asylum. Officials on both sides of the border are calling for emergency aid to set up shelters and services for the migrants, some of whom are sleeping on the streets.
Republicans argue that Biden and Harris – named as the federal government’s go-to person to attack the root causes of migration – have eased some of the restrictions that have prompted many to leave their home countries Huh. Biden scrapped some policies but retained others enacted by former President Donald Trump, whose administration has also dealt with spikes in border crossings and at one point separated immigrant families and children as a deterrent .
White House spokesman Abdullah Hassan called the migrant transport “a cruel, dangerous and shameful political stunt”.
“As we have said many times, we are willing to work with anyone – whether Republican or Democrat – to achieve real solutions, like the comprehensive immigration reform and border security measures that President Biden presented to Congress on his first day in office. But these political sports don’t achieve anything more than risking lives, Hasan said in a statement on Sunday.