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Texas has spent more than $12 million to bus migrants to D.C. and New York 

Abbott has said that "the busing mission is providing much-needed relief to our overwhelmed border communities"

September 1, 2022 4:34am

Updated: September 1, 2022 1:01pm

Texas has spent more than $12 million to bus undocumented migrants who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border to Washington, D.C. and New York, according to data from the Texas Division of Emergency Management. 

The data, obtained by CNN through a Freedom of Information Act request, shows that Texas has paid $12,707,720.92 since August 9 to Wynne Transportation, the charter bus service that is being used to transport the migrants. 

Additionally, a department spokesperson confirmed the figure to the Texas Tribune

Abbott has said that "the busing mission is providing much-needed relief to our overwhelmed border communities" as an unprecedented number of migrants are crossing the border. 

Usually, migrants released into the country while their asylum cases are pending in court have to cover their own travel costs. However, Abbott’s office is providing the undocumented migrants with state-sponsored charter buses to D.C. and New York City in an effort to push back against the nation’s immigration policies.

“President Biden’s reckless open border policies have created an ongoing crisis,” Abbott’s press secretary Renae Eze said in a statement. “Until President Biden and Congress do their jobs and secure our southern border, Texas will continue utilizing every strategy to address this border crisis and protect Texans.”

Abbott has claimed to have sent more than 7,400 migrants to Washington, D.C. since April and more than 1,500 migrants to New York City since August 5. According to the CNN report, the state is paying at least $1,400 per migrant to transport them north.

Texas has asked for private donations to help pay for the cost of the trips. However, the donations only amount to $167,828 as of August 17. At a news conference in April, Abbott acknowledged that taxpayers were most likely to end up paying for part of the cost. 

"Because (President) Joe Biden is not securing the border, the state of Texas is having to step up and spend Texas taxpayers' money doing the federal government's job," the governor said at the time.

Abbott’s office has said the migrants are being transported out of state with their permission. However, it is unclear what other options have been given to these individuals, reported CNN.