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Busload of migrants from Texas dropped off at vice president’s residence


A bus full of migrants from South America was dropped off in front of Vice President Kamala Harris’ home at the U.S. Naval Observatory in D.C. early Thursday.

migrant naval observatory
A father and daughter  talk to the media moments after the bus dropped them off before dawn. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)

Before dawn, the bus with Texas license plates stopped on Massachusetts Avenue in Northwest, opened its front door, and about 50 women, men and children arrived in the nation’s capital.

Some still-asleep children came down the bus steps on their parents’ shoulders, and most adults carried small white plastic bags, with a few belongings.

Volunteers from SAMU First Response, a D.C.-based group that assists asylum-seekers, was on hand when the bus from Texas arrived. Within minutes after their arrival and a short explanation in Spanish of the next steps, the migrants were loaded onto two smaller buses, and taken to local accommodations.

It wasn’t the first time that busloads from Texas were dropped off there. The same thing happened on Sept. 15.

Thousands of arrivals have been transported in recent months from states with Republican governors, including Texas, Florida and Arizona. Texas has spent more than $12 million doing so.

In September, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said he was “sending a direct message” to Vice President Harris, by sending two buses of migrants to the Naval Observatory.

At least one person on the bus had someone waiting, when the door opened.

The influx of migrants prompted D.C.’s mayor to declare an emergency, and in doing so, she set up an Office of Migrant Services.

The D.C. Council backed Bowser’s emergency legislation, agreeing to spend $10 million on the office that will provide the migrants with reception, respite, meals, temporary accommodations, urgent medical services, transportation, connection to resettlement services and other services.

WTOP’s Colleen Kelleher and Rick Massimo contributed to this story.