Governor Greg Abbott has asked donors to help pay for bus migrants. The answer does not cover bills – Houston Public Media

Jose Luis Magana/AP

FILE – Migrants hold Red Cross blankets after arriving at Union Station near the U.S. Capitol from Texas on buses April 27, 2022 in Washington.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has spoken out against migrants crossing the border and blamed the federal government for not doing enough to stop them.

And after launching a controversial program to transport migrants by bus to other states, he appealed to private donors to help defray transport costs.

But the total contributions to the so-called “border transportation fund” are well below the more than $12 million price tag to transport migrants to New York, Washington, DC and Chicago.

Data obtained by KERA after filing an open records request shows that about 3,000 people contributed more than $264,000 between mid-April and mid-August.

Renae Eze, the governor’s press secretary, said in a statement that after Abbott announced his plan to bus migrants, “we received an outpouring of support from across our state and across the country of people wanting to help and donate to the operation, raising more than $344,000 so far.That, according to the governor’s website, was as of September 12.

Critics have described the program as a political stunt while supporters applaud Abbott. Mayors of towns where the migrants were dropped off have cried foul while others say some migrants welcome bus rides to other towns.

“Governor Abbott confirmed what sadly many of us already knew, that he is a man without any morals, humanity or shame,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot told the Chicago Tribune earlier this month. -this. “…They are human beings. Moms and dads, young children, elders who deserve our respect and our dignity. They are not commodities. They are not movable property. They are human beings.”

Eze said President Joe Biden has “turned a blind eye to the suffering of Texans, as his dangerous open border policies overwhelm border communities with record highs of migrants from more than 155 countries pouring into our state.” .

In an email, the Texas Division of Emergency Management said the transportation costs are covered by funds appropriated by the state legislature for border security, as well as private contributions.

KERA also reached out to Wynne Transportation, an Irving-based company that provides bus rides. A person who answered the phone said they were not authorized to give information.

Donations raised through the border fund come from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, with Texas topping the list of contributors, followed by Florida, California and Nevada.

In total, more than 800 Texas donors gave nearly $87,000 to the fund between mid-April and mid-August.

More than 250 Florida donors contributed approximately $26,000. Slightly fewer donors in California gave about $19,600. Vermont had the lowest contributions – two donors gave a total of $61.10.

A few of the donors listed include the names of companies with which they are affiliated. They include the owner of an early childhood development center in Oklahoma, an employee of a construction company in Michigan, an employee of a roofing company in Texas, and an executive of a pizza company in Texas.

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