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Gov. Abbott turns to crowdfunding to bus migrants from Texas to Washington D.C.

Texas Migrant Bus Arrives In Washington
Bryan Olin Dozier/Bryan Olin Dozier via Reuters Co
Around twenty people who crossed the U.S. border from Venezuela gather in Union Station in Washington, D.C. on April 13, 2022 after arriving on a bus from Texas, per Texas Governor Greg Abbott's decision to bus migrants to Washington, D.C. (Photo by Bryan Olin Dozier/NurPhoto)NO USE FRANCE

Gov. Greg Abbott has asked the public for donations to fund his controversial effort to bus migrants from border communities to Washington D.C. following criticism over his use of taxpayer dollars.

Abbott originally announced the program at the beginning of April in anticipation of the Biden administration's lifting of Title 42, the public health code invoked by the Trump administration and continued under Biden to expel migrants at the border under the pretext of stopping the spread of COVID.

“The Biden Administration has been dumping off illegal immigrants in communities that do not have the resources needed to take care of them. We're sending them to DC so people can see what Texas has to deal with,” Abbott tweeted following his appearance on Fox News Sunday, where he announced the crowdfunding campaign.

Abbott's efforts not only drew criticism over the use of taxpayer funds to make a political statement but also praise from Democrats and immigrant rights activists for actually helping migrants on their journey.

In response to the administration’s announcement to terminate Title 42, Abbott also ordered state troopers to increase inspections on commercial vehicles to check for the transportation of migrants and drugs. The move led to delays in deliveries, truckers blocking commercial lanes in protest, and no drugs or immigrants were found. This caused Abbott to reverse his order for increased inspection in mid April.

Abbott's first effort at crowdfunding a controversial border initiative came last summer in his plan to continue building border wall on state land. It raised more than $55 million, with nearly all of it coming from billionaire Timothy Mellon — Andrew Mellon's grandson.

The governor’s website says his latest effort to raise money to bus migrants has raised $63,973 so far this week.

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Jackie Velez is the News Desk Assistant.