Abbott’s Hotly Debated Migrant Busing Program Funded Mostly by Taxpayers

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has made headlines this week as a CNN investigation has uncovered some noteworthy facts about his controversial program to bus migrants out of his state of Texas and into sanctuary cities like New York and Chicago. Read on if you’re interested to find out what CNN unearthed.

Abbott’s Pledge to Cover Migrant Transport Costs

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When Greg Abbott first began shipping migrants out of Texas to Washington, Chicago, and New York, people raised concerns about who would foot the bill. 

Initial Optimism

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Abbott belayed any concerns, however, and stated that he’d begun to find private financial support to cover the costs and that there would likely “be no cost to the state.”

Public Support Surges

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After announcing his new measures to tackle the migrant crisis, Abbott was apparently inundated with phone calls, letters, and requests from people offering to provide buses, drive buses, and pay for the bus fees. 

Abbott’s Bid to Cover Expenses

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Shortly after, Abbott set up a donation page on his website, explaining, “We got to thinking if people all across the country are so eager to participate in this, then we should put a website link up and let them participate.” According to Abbott, “As soon as we did that, the donations have come in.”

Raising Concerns

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However, according to a report from CNN, what seemed like a sure thing for Abbott has been a massive burden on the taxpayers’ coffers. 

CNN Report Reveals Funding Shortfall

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According to their figures, Abbott’s crowdfunding has collected less than half of 1% of the costs of the bussing program’s sizable $150 million bill.

Missing Donation

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In fact, CNN found that the largest donation on the website – $900,000 – never materialized, chalking it up to either a prank or a mistake. 

Inconsistencies in Reported Contributions

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While reporters tried to reach the person behind this sizable donation, they couldn’t find anyone with the same name, and the phone number state officials had was disconnected.

Shifting Figures

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So far, Abbott’s crowdfunding has raised almost $550,000 – a long way off the amount needed. His office maintained a steady routine of publishing a funding tally online.

In September, it showed that donations had hit over $1.3 million, but by December, the figure had been readjusted to just under $460,000.

Investigating Contributors

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CNN questioned multiple donors using the data they received from the state, with varying feedback. 

Questionable Donors

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One donor stated that he had never made a donation despite submitting his name and number, while another told CNN that he had complained about his donation being used to bus migrants as he had donated to the state’s border wall fund.

Mellon Family Heir’s Generous Gift

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The biggest donation—other than the $900,000—was $50,000 by Timothy Mellon, heir to the Mellon family fortune.

Mellon has previously committed millions to the state’s border wall fund and to Super PACs supporting presidential hopefuls Donald Trump and Robert F Kennedy Jr.

Taxpayer Concerns

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The $150 million program is now a predominantly taxpayer-funded initiative.

CNN estimates that it costs around $1500 per migrant to bus them to a sanctuary city, and taxpayers may be frustrated that their money is being spent on these initiatives when there are other things that it could be used on, including border security.

Divergent Opinions on Taxpayer-Funded Initiatives

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However, not all taxpayers have the same opinion, and some have already publicly declared their support for the measures using their funding.

Supreme Court Decision

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This news comes as the Supreme Court has given Abbott the green light on his controversial immigration law. 

Expanded Powers

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This law will give Texas law enforcement extra power when it comes to dealing with migrants crossing the border and matters of border security. 

Texas Law Enforcement’s Authority Boost

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It allows police to question and arrest anyone they suspect to have entered the state illegally and gives them the power to deport immigrants.

Potential Charges and Penalties for Offenders

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Police will also have the power to charge migrants with misdemeanors and felonies for first-time and repeat offenders, with up to six months jail time for first-time offenders.

Abbott’s Reaction

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In response to the ruling, Abbott took to social media to write, “In a 6-3 decision, SCOTUS allows Texas to begin enforcing SB4 that allows the arrest of illegal immigrants. We still have to have hearings in the 5th circuit federal court of appeals. But this is clearly a positive development.”

Democrat’s Opposition

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President Joe Biden’s administration had previously challenged the law, calling it unconstitutional, but the Supreme Court has permitted Texas to start enforcing it, leaving Biden’s hands tied.

The post Abbott’s Hotly Debated Migrant Busing Program Funded Mostly by Taxpayers appeared on Liberty & Wealth.

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The content of this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute or replace professional financial advice.

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