Updated Oct 17, 2022 - Politics & Policy

D.C. attorney general to investigate GOP governors busing migrants to nation's capital

Migrants seeking asylum wait to board a bus at a checkpoint in Eagle Pass, Texas.

Migrants seeking asylum wait to board a bus at a checkpoint in Eagle Pass, Texas. Photo: Nick Wagner/Xinhua via Getty Images

The D.C. attorney general is opening an investigation into governors who are relocating migrants to the nation's capital, according to the Texas Tribune and ProPublica.

The big picture: Governors from Texas, Florida and Arizona have sent thousands of migrants to Washington D.C., as well as New York and Chicago, in recent months.

Details: District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine opened an investigation into whether state governors at the southern border — like Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) — misled immigrants when deciding to transport them, per the Texas Tribune and ProPublica.

  • He said immigrants told investigators that they were misled, "with talk about promised services."
  • Racine told the Tribune that they're investigating if the trip organizers deceived immigrants before boarding the buses to other states, promising jobs or services and potentially violating civil rights when moving immigrants across state lines.
  • The D.C. attorney general can bring up misdemeanor criminal charges or file civil fraud charges, according to the Tribune.
  • Abbott's press secretary Renae Eze said in a statement that migrants "willingly chose to go to Washington, D.C., having signed a voluntary consent waiver available in multiple languages upon boarding that they agreed on the destination."

The big picture: Texas has sent more than 8,200 migrants to Washington, D.C., since April, Abbott said in a statement Friday. An additional 3,300 were sent to New York and more than 1,000 moved to Chicago since August.

Go deeper: What we know about Texas and Florida's transport of migrants

This story has been updated with additional reporting.

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