Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In light of recent migrant transfers led by Republican governors to several cities in the Northeast, Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52) urged Republicans to focus on real solutions to our immigration crisis. Over the past several months, more than 7,400 migrants have been transported from Texas to Washington D.C, 11,000 to New York City, and an unknown number to Chicago. And, last week, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis spent Florida taxpayer dollars to transport 48 migrants from San Antonio to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

“The victims of these political stunts are not here illegally,” Rep. Peters said. “They are asylum seekers trying to navigate the legal immigration process. Most won’t qualify for asylum and will ultimately be sent home. But right now, we have a backlog of approximately 1.3 million immigration cases awaiting a hearing.”

“The $12 million Governor Abbott wasted on political theater could have funded 100 new immigration judges to help speed the legal asylum process so people aren’t stuck in limbo,” Peters said. “The $12 million Gov. DeSantis set aside for his cruel stunts could have helped almost 30,000 asylum seekers make their way through the legal process so they can work here legally which is something they want and we want, especially now in the midst of a labor shortage,” said Rep. Peters.

“If Republican leaders were serious about fixing our broken immigration system, they would not be wasting tens of millions of taxpayer dollars on useless stunts and instead, they would work with their Democratic colleagues to develop concrete solutions,” Peters said.

Reports indicate that Texas Governor Abbott has already spent more than $12 million to transport asylum seekers to other states and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has allocated $12 million for migrant transfers even though the people transferred had never set foot in Florida to seek asylum. The $12 million were largely funded from interest earned on $5.8 billion allocated to Florida through American Rescue Plan, which was intended to support states during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.