Local experts weigh in on Gov. Abbott's plan to bus undocumented immigrants to D.C.

Governor Greg Abbott announced his plans Wednesday to send buses full of undocumented immigrants to Washington D.C. 

"We are sending them to the capitol where the Biden administration can more immediately help the needs of the people they are allowing to come across our border," said Abbott.

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FOX 26 spoke with a political science professor from Rice University who says, the announcement made Wednesday was 95% political theater, 5% policy. 

"The reality is when these people are released from detention, Abbott can't force them to do anything they don’t want to do," said Mark Jones, Political Science Professor at Rice University.

Jones tells us, under Title 42, which was put into place by former President Donald Trump at the start of the COVID pandemic, immigrants were immediately detained and deported. He says, once the title is lifted, we're going to see a very dramatic increase in the number of undocumented immigrants crossing over into Texas.

"We are going to go to say 5,000 to 15 to 20,000 a day at least, during the months of May and June," said Jones. "Getting rid of Title 42 just takes us back to February 2020 whereby anyone crossing the border has the right to request asylum."


According to a recent poll by the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation released Tuesday, right now Gov. Abbott is in a secure position with an eight to ten point lead over Beto O’Rourke.

"Abbott enjoyed a 50- 42% advantage over Beto, among likely voters," said Jones. "And goes to about 12% from the most likely voters."


Cesar Espinosa, Executive Director of FIEL, an immigrant led civil rights organization, believes the announcement is political theater that plays to his base.

"He knows that the immigration issue continues to move his base," said Espinosa. "At the end of the day, people who are fleeing bad situations don’t think about these things, rather they are just looking for a safe haven."