The shocking details behind DeSantis and Abbott’s immigration appearances

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Republican governors are in a cynical race to outdo each other and bus migrants across the US border to New York, Washington, DC, Chicago and now by plane to Martha’s Vineyard.

Two unannounced planes carrying about 50 Migrants landed in Massachusetts’ wealthy seaside resort on Wednesday night, to the surprise of locals.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis touted the credit, which took migrants from Texas not Florida and left them unplanned on the streets.

His situation may have been overcome by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who began sending busloads of migrants to Washington in April and Thursday morning. Asylum seekers were turned away from Vice President Kamala Harris’ home at the US Naval Observatory. He has come under fire from immigration hawks for his remarks on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. that he was sure the border is “secure”.

Many rightly pointed out that the political point came at the expense of vulnerable migrants who already had an incredibly arduous journey, but some of the details of the transport may surprise you. To begin with, many migrants were grateful for the walk.

These mistakes by Republican governors are based on the false idea that immigrants are in the country illegally. Technically, those on the buses and planes are asylum seekers who have been processed by federal immigration authorities. and they await their court days.

While most of these migrants crossed the Mexican border, they are fleeing poor economies and dangerous conditions in Central America and, increasingly, South America. After crossing the border and applying for asylum, they are released there The US has to wait for the asylum hearings.

RELATED: ‘Radical change’ at the border is making things tough for Biden

A Massachusetts dropout, a 45-year-old named Leonel, told The New York Times about his three-month journey through Venezuela, Colombia and Central America. He attempted to cross the US-Mexico border several times before being arrested and later released in San Antonio.

There he was approached and asked if he wanted to go to Massachusetts. It is unclear whether he knew he was heading to a wealthy island community that was unprepared for the arrivals.

Anger at stunts is also partly fueled by the idea that people are being forced onto buses. That’s not true, as CNN’s Gary Tuchman discovered when he visited a shelter in Eagle Pass, Texas, in August.

He met asylum seekers who were already planning to reunite with family and friends spread across the country. Other migrants They were happy to come to the US without going anywhere because of the free travel.

Tuchman spoke with a 28-year-old Venezuelan woman named Genesis Figueroa, who traveled for a month and a half by foot, bus and boat to reach Eagle Pass with her husband.

“I was very tired. My legs hurt and I got sick,” he told Tuchman in Spanish. “I got pneumonia. I was hospitalized for three days in Guatemala.” See Tuchman’s report.

He also spoke with his cousins ​​traveling from Venezuela; a man’s brother died on the trip after disappearing while crossing the Rio Grande.

CNN’s Priscilla Alvarez recently reported that almost 750 migrants have died on the southern border since October 2021.

“We went in search of a dream, but now it’s a very difficult situation,” Luis Pulido told Tuchman in Spanish. He would get on a DC-bound bus, hoping to get off in Kentucky before his family headed to Chicago.

A week after the bus trip, Tuchman found Pulido and his cousin in Chicago, where they had reunited with relatives, sheltered in a small, shared apartment, and were looking for work at a restaurant. They will likely be legally unable to work for at least 180 days, according to rules posted on the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

See Tuchman’s follow-up.

Tuchman told me that Pulido and his cousin went to the first appointments, but it was mostly administrative and they are waiting for the next appearance.

Obtaining a work permit can take up to New York officials told CNN’s Polo Sandoval, who He also reported on this issue last month

He went to a shelter in Brooklyn and met a young couple from Venezuela, Anabel and Crisman Urbaez, asylum seekers.

They showed him videos of the two-month 10-country tour, often on foot, that began in the year. Peru and continued In the jungles of Colombia and through the Darien Gap that connects South America and Central America – all of them With children aged 6 and 9 and Max the dog.

It takes years. The average time to complete an immigration case is 1,110 days, according to data maintained by Syracuse University. During this time, migrants and asylum seekers begin to build American lives.

Fewer than half of asylum applications have been granted in recent years, according to Syracuse.

In the Trump administration, the denial rate was over 70%, but in the first year of the Biden administration the grant rate reached almost 40%.

Alvarez recently wrote about the mass exodus in Venezuela. The United Nations says they are fleeing the South American country – which has suffered years of political repression and economic unrest – like war-torn Ukraine. They are about 6.8 million Venezuelans piece this diaspora

US Customs and Border Protection has had nearly 2 million encounters so far in the fiscal year ending September 30.

Some of these encounters are recurring crossovers. Others They have been rejected under the Trump-era Covid-19 policy that the Biden administration has tried to end, so far without success. Some are seeking asylum.

Officials in New York City, Illinois, and Washington, DC, have declared emergencies to deal with the buses, saying they don’t know when or where to expect them, and they want a warning from Texas, Arizona and now Florida.

Texas has spent more than $12 million and moved about 9,000 migrants north.

Overall, buses and now planes have moved thousands of migrants, but that’s a tiny fraction of the nearly 700,000 pending asylum claims that are slowly working their way through the justice system.

All of these stories are unique, but many of them share the theme of running away from home with no choice and are comparatively happy for the trip across the border into the US.