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Buses of Migrants Arrive at Vice President’s Washington Residence Amid Frigid Christmas Eve Temperatures

Left: Two adults and one child, presumably migrants brought by bus to DC, are seen outside of a bus. Right: Kamala Harris, wearing a khaki suit, stands behind a podium and microphones speaking to Democratic supporters.

Left: Migrants who were purportedly dropped in front of the residence of Vice President Kamala Harris on Christmas Eve are seen outside a bus (via WJLA screengrab). Right: Harris speaks to a group of Democrats on Sept. 22, 2022 (via YouTube screengrab).

At least three buses of migrants arrived in front of the residence of Vice President Kamala Harris on Christmas Eve — when temperatures dropped well below freezing — reportedly at the direction of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

CNN reported Sunday that “several busloads” of migrants were left in front of Harris’ residence at the Naval Observatory. People who arrived on the first two buses were taken to local shelters, CNN reported, citing an unnamed administration official. Additional arrivals were reportedly given blankets and taken to a local church.

Temperatures in the capital at that time were around 15 degrees, with winds around seven or eight miles per hour.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible for sending the buses to Washington. NBC News reported that the approximately 140 people on the buses came from locations in Texas and cited a statement from the White House blaming Abbott.

Assistant press secretary Abdullah Hasan said that Abbott “abandoned children on the side of the road in below freezing temperatures on Christmas Eve without coordinating with any Federal or local authorities.”

“This was a cruel, dangerous, and shameful stunt,” Hasan added, according to NBC.

“[T]he second bus of migrants has arrived here in D.C. near VP Kamala Harris’ home,” local ABC affiliate WJLA reporter Christian Flores posted to Twitter at around 9:45 p.m. on Saturday. His tweet was accompanied by a video of people — some of them wearing clothes that clearly couldn’t stand up to the frigid weather — pulling what appeared to be plastic bags of personal items from the undercarriage of a bus.

“The third and final bus of migrants of the night [bussed] up to D.C. from Texas arriving, with Migrant Solidarity Mutual Aid Network taking them to a church,” Flores posted on Twitter at around 10:00 p.m. that same night.

Volunteers who had been alerted to the arrivals were reportedly on site to welcome the migrants and provide support.

“This is a welcome effort that we’ve been doing since the first bus arrived,” Amy Fischer, an organizer with the Migrant Solidarity Mutual Aid Network, told WJLA on Saturday night. “D.C. just continues to show up as a welcoming city that is always ready and willing to open their arms to welcome people, whether it’s Christmas Eve, whether it’s 9 degrees outside or 90 degrees outside.”

CNN reported that the migrants included asylum seekers from Ecuador, Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Peru, and Columbia. Fischer told CNN that the buses were supposed to go to New York but were diverted to Washington because of the weather.

For his part, Abbott didn’t publicly acknowledge the migrant transport.

“Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas!” the governor’s official Twitter account said on Sunday morning. “May the joy of our Savior’s birth fill your hearts today and every day,” the governor also wrote, adding a Bible verse to the post.

Abbott posted a similar message to his account less than 30 minutes later with the message: “May the hopeful promise of our Savior’s birth bring comfort & joy to you & your family. Merry Christmas, Texas!”

Abbott, a Republican, has been putting migrants and asylum seekers arriving at the southern border on buses and sending them to cities including Chicago, New York, and Washington since April. In September, under his direction, two busloads carrying more than 100 migrants arrived at Harris’ residence.

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