President Joe Biden has long been a vocal supporter of Amtrak, even if most Americans find the long-distance rail service inefficient and expensive.
According to recent reports, Biden seems to have found another use for the trains: relocating undocumented immigrants from the southern border to communities across the United States.
A group of GOP lawmakers from the House Transportation Committee recently expressed concerns that the Department of Homeland Security will be paying for these Amtrak tickets using taxpayer funds. In total, 19 Republican legislators signed a letter addressed to Amtrak officials that laid out their fears about such a White House plan.
“We are concerned about the impact that a significantly greater border surge could cause to your services and the potential use of Amtrak in the Administration’s response to its self-created border crisis,” they wrote.
Citing some of the potential issues that could result from using trains to relocate migrants, the letter warned of “disruptions for Amtrak customers” and interrupted freight transportation “that could further exacerbate the supply chain crisis.”
Additionally, the letter lamented “an unconscionable use of significant amounts of taxpayer funds and resources to aid in the vast movement of illegal migrants into American communities.”
As the number of confirmed illegal border crossings ticks closer to 2 million this fiscal year, Republican leaders in border states and elsewhere across the country have been increasingly worried about where these migrants would ultimately be released. In their letter to Amtrak, the lawmakers wrote that they were “deeply concerned that Amtrak’s resources … will be used to transport these undocumented persons.”
Biden's open border policies created a crisis at our southern border.
This crisis encourages smugglers, cartel members, & terrorists.
Texas will continue to take unprecedented action to secure our border until the federal government does its job. pic.twitter.com/fxu7tzOcX9
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) August 16, 2022
It is unclear how Democratic officials might react to a the arrival of Amtrak trains filled with undocumented immigrants, but the leaders of New York City and Washington, D.C., responded harshly to recent efforts by border-state Republicans to send busloads of migrants to their communities.
GOP Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has reportedly sent more than 1,000 immigrants from his state to New York over the course of this month, which has apparently vexed Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams.
Abbott reacted to the situation by calling out Adams for his perceived hypocrisy, declaring: “Adams talked the talk about being a sanctuary city — welcoming illegal immigrants into the Big Apple with warm hospitality. Talk is cheap. When pressed into fulfilling such ill-considered policies, he wants to condemn anyone who is pressing him to walk the walk.”