Migrants unexpectedly dropped off in front of vice president’s residence in DC

Two busloads of migrants from Texas were dropped off without warning Thursday morning in front of the vice president’s residence along Massachusetts Avenue in Northwest Washington, as part of the ongoing situation involving the governor of Texas busing migrants to the nation’s capital to protest the Biden administration’s immigration policies.

About 100 migrants were offloaded from the buses with no one to greet them.

They were standing around on the street corner during the middle of the morning rush hour.

“I think it’s really messed up,” said Carmen Carrera, one of those volunteers who’s been working to help the migrants as the arrive. “These are human beings and they’re just dropped off with no one welcoming them.”

Migrants bused from Texas were dropped off in front of the vice president’s residence Thursday morning. One volunteer helping them said she’s appalled that they are “being treated like pawns.” (WTOP/Nick Iannelli)

Volunteers were expecting the migrants to show up at Union Station.

They were surprised to find out that they had instead been taken to the vice president’s house.

“We all had to kind of jump in our cars and get over here,” Carrera said.

The volunteers gathered the migrants together and called in Ubers to bring them to a place where they could get something to eat, Carrera said.

Over the past several weeks, the District has been dealing with thousands of migrants who have been bused in by the Republican governors of Texas and Arizona.

The governors specifically object to the Biden administration’s attempt to lift “Title 42,” a pandemic-related immigration policy that allows authorities to turn away migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The vast majority of migrants are being dropped at Union Station with nowhere to go and no community ties.

Migrants from Central and South America wait near the residence of US Vice President Kamala Harris after being dropped off on September 15, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Many are in need of housing, food, clothing, transportation and legal assistance. Volunteers and local nonprofit organizations have stepped in to provide those services.

Last week, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser declared a public emergency to deal with the situation and said her administration was standing up a new Office of Migrant Services to combine and streamline support and services to migrants.

City school officials said last month that they are offering to help enroll migrant children.

Of the migrants who have arrived so far, dozens are school-aged, according to D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Lewis Ferebee.

“If migrant families decide to enroll, we’ll ensure that they have access to their neighborhood school,” Ferebee said. “We will ensure that students have access to the services they need.”

Ferebee said he was “confident” that the school system had enough Spanish-speaking teachers and staff members on hand.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted that he’d sent the buses that arrived Thursday: “We’re sending migrants to her backyard to call on the Biden Administration to do its job & secure the border.”

After migrants seeking asylum cross the U.S.-Mexico border, they spend time in a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility along the border until they are generally released into the U.S. to wait out their cases. Republicans say Biden’s policies encourage migrants to vanish into the U.S.; Democrats argue the Trump-era policy of forcing migrants to wait out their asylum cases in Mexico was inhumane.

DeSantis flew two planes of immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard on Wednesday. And last week, Abbott sent about 75 migrants to Chicago.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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