Reps. Castro and García are calling on President Joe Biden to block Gov. Abbott’s busing of migrants.
The lawmakers made the plea after a 3-year-old died on a bus headed to Chicago on Thursday.
Abbott has been battling with the Biden administration over immigration issues for over two years.
Two Democratic lawmakers are calling on the Biden administration to block Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott from transporting migrants from the US-Mexico border region to cities across the country after a three-year-old child died while en route to Chicago on Thursday.
Reps. Joaquin Castro of Texas and Jesús “Chuy” García of Illinois in a statement on Friday sharply criticized Abbott over his border control efforts, dubbed “Operation Lone Star,” which has seen his administration bus more than 30,000 migrants to Democratic-led cities like Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, DC.
The death of the young child added to their urgency.
“Migrant parents make the journey to our country seeking safety and stability for their children. We are saddened and horrified, but not surprised, by the death of a three-year-old child on a state-sponsored bus from Texas to Chicago,” the lawmakers said. “For months, Operation Lone Star has trafficked asylum-seekers across the country in squalid conditions. Governor Abbott’s barbaric practices are killing people, and the Biden administration has an obligation to stop them.”
The child was being transported from Brownsville, Texas, to Chicago, according to officials.
The Texas Division of Emergency Management confirmed the death of the child and stated that the passengers on the bus had not only been screened by US Customs and Border Protection, but also had their temperatures checked and were questioned about whether they required any medical attention before embarking on the long journey.
“Following this check, prior to boarding, no passenger presented with a fever or medical concerns,” the department said in a statement. “Once the child presented with health concerns, the bus pulled over and security personnel on board called 911 for emergency attention.”
“Every loss of life is a tragedy,” the department also said in its statement.
Castro, the San Antonio-area lawmaker who was briefed on the matter, told The New York Times that the parents of the young child were also on the bus and noticed that their child had developed an illness, which produced a fever and diarrhea.
The child then lost consciousness, according to Castro.
After being treated by paramedics, the child later died in Marion County, Illinois, in the southern region of the state, according to The Associated Press.
The Illinois Department of Public Health in a Thursday statement said that it was “working with local health officials, state police, and federal authorities to the fullest extent possible to get answers in this tragic situation.”
Insider reached out to the Texas Division of Emergency Management for any updates. Insider also reached out to Abbott’s office and the White House for comment.
Abbott has repeatedly clashed with President Joe Biden over border security, accusing the administration of failing to secure the US-Mexico border as apprehensions began to soar early in the president’s first term.
While border apprehensions have declined in recent months, the issue has remained a major public policy flash point as Republicans hope to use the issue against Biden in next year’s presidential election. The president has been sharply critical of Abbott’s busing of migrants, calling the action “un-American” and “reckless.”
The mayors of the affected cities, notably New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, have also been highly critical of Abbott, with Adams specifically stating that cities run by Black mayors have been targeted as part of the governor’s immigration-related actions.
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