Live updates: Biden says GOP ‘playing politics’ with people

(NewsNation) — At least three Republican governors are responding to the crisis at the southern border by offering migrants transportation to cities around the country. It’s a strategy that has become more targeted and political in recent days.

On Thursday morning, two busloads of migrants from Texas were dropped off outside Vice President Kamala Harris’s residence in Washington, D.C.

Just one day earlier, two planes carrying migrants arrived at Martha’s Vineyard — a popular vacation destination off the coast of Massachusetts — courtesy of Florida Gov. Ron Desantis.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s relocation program has drawn criticism from Democratic mayors whose cities are often on the receiving end of the one-way tickets.

Officials in border towns in Texas and Arizona say they’re overwhlemed by the record number of migrants pouring into the country and need other cities to share the burden.

NewsNation correspondents are on the ground in El Paso, Texas, Washington, D.C., and Miami to track the latest developments in this story.

8 P.M. — President Biden: GOP “playing politics” with humans

Washington Thursday evening at the “United We Stand Summit,” President Joe Biden spoke out about GOP governors transporting migrants to cities around the country.

“Republicans are playing politics with human beings, using them as props. What they’re doing is simply wrong, it’s un-American, it’s reckless. And we have a process in place to manage migrants at the border. We’re working to make sure it’s safe and orderly and humane. Republican officials should not interfere with that process by waging these political stunts,” Biden said.

Biden continued that it’s “long overdue” for Republicans in the Senate to come together to “provide a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, those on temporary status, farmworkers and essential workers.”

The president called on legislators to modernize immigration laws.

“We need to modernize our laws so businesses get workers they need and families don’t have to wait decades to be brought back together. It’s time to get it done,” Biden said.

According to reports, White House officials plan to meet Friday morning to speak about “litigation options” regarding the migrant transportation.

2:29 p.m. — newsom calls for doj investigation

Sacramento, California — On Thursday afternoon, California Gov. Gavin Newsom called on the U.S. Department of Justice to open an investigation into possible criminal or civil violations related to the migrant transports.

Specifically, Newsom asked the DOJ to look at whether migrants were induced to accept travel offers to Martha’s Vineyard under false pretenses, as some have alleged.

“Transporting families, including children, across state lines under false pretenses is morally reprehensible, but it may also be illegal,” Newsom said in a statement.

2:27 p.m. — migrants were misled about destination

Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts — Local officials in Massachusetts told NewsNation that migrants were misled about where they were going when they boarded planes in Florida.

“Some were told that they were going to different cities across the country. At least one individual thought that they were going to New York and some thought that they were going to immigration appointments. None, it seems, were told that they were going to the vineyard,” said Democratic State Rep. Dylan Fernandes.


Washington D.C. — White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre criticized the Republican governors’ relocation strategy Thursday and said the migrants deserve better than how they’ve been treated.

12:21 p.m. — d.c. mayor avoids migrant questions

Washington D.C. — When asked whether she was surprised by the buses of migrants at the VP’s residence Thursday, Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser declined to answer. Bowser, who declared a public emergency due to the influx of migrants last week, also refused to answer whether she thought the border was secure.

“I’m not taking any questions, thank you,” Bowser told NewsNation’s Evan Lambert.

11:42 a.m. — abbott owns busing policy

Austin, Texas — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott took credit for the more than 100 migrants who were dropped off outside the vice president’s residence Thursday. In a written statement, Abbott accused the VP of ignorning the crisis at the southern border which he said “has endangered Texas communities for almost two years.”

“Texas will continue sending migrants to sanctuary cities like Washington, D.C. until President Biden and Border Czar Harris step up and do their jobs to secure the border,” said Abbott.

10:24 a.m. — harris offers no comment

Washington D.C. — As she was leaving an event Thursday morning, Vice President Harris was asked if she had any comment on the migrants outside her home. She did not respond.

9:36 a.m. — leaders respond to martha’s vineyard arrival

Massachusetts — Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., responded on Twitter after about 50 Venezuelan migrants arrived at Martha’s Vineyard from Florida on Wednesday.

“Exploiting vulnerable people for political stunts is repulsive and cruel. Massachusetts is fully capable of handling asylum seekers, and I’ll keep working with local, state, and federal partners to ensure we have the necessary resources to care for people with dignity,” she wrote.

7:18 a.m. — buses had been going to union station

Washington D.C. — Before Thursday morning, buses transporting migrants had been arriving at Union Station in Washington, D.C., NewsNation’s Evan Lambert reported.

7:09 a.m. — migrants outside the vp’s residence

Washington D.C. — Two busloads of migrants arriving from Texas were dropped off at Vice President Kamala Harris’s residence near the U.S. Naval Observatory compound in Washington, D.C.


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