Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee Urges Legal Action Against DeSantis, Abbott: 'Racial Implications'

Susan Jones | September 19, 2022 | 6:50am EDT
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A Haitian migrant approved for humanitarian parole cheers as he boards a bus taking migrants into the U.S. on August 30, 2022 in Reynosa, Mexico. An estimated 6000 migrants, with a Haitian majority, continue to overwhelm the northern Mexican city of Reynosa, a town bordering McAllen, Texas, while waiting for an opportunity to cross into the United States. (Photo by Michael Nigro/Getty Images)
A Haitian migrant approved for humanitarian parole cheers as he boards a bus taking migrants into the U.S. on August 30, 2022 in Reynosa, Mexico. An estimated 6000 migrants, with a Haitian majority, continue to overwhelm the northern Mexican city of Reynosa, a town bordering McAllen, Texas, while waiting for an opportunity to cross into the United States. (Photo by Michael Nigro/Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democrat from the overrun border state of Texas, says dropping off illegal border-crossers outside Vice President Kamala Harris's official residence smacks of racism and should not be tolerated.

She is urging the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security to seek an injunction against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to stop them from sending busloads of migrants to Washington, D.C., New York City, and other sanctuary cities.

"Have we seen this kind of behavior with public officials in the last 50 years?" the congresswoman asked CNN's Victor Blackwell on Friday:

"We've seen the flotilla (Cuba). We've seen people come across the border. We've seen the surge in 2014. We've seen the surge in recent years of refugees, migrants coming across our border. We've even seen activity at the northern border.

"But never, in the last 50 years, and maybe longer, have we seen public officials, governors of states, taking human beings like discarded waste and dumping them wherever they feel that they have the privilege to do so.

"Not only should the federal government enjoin them, take them to court and seek an injunction against this maligning behavior, but they should also determine whether civil or criminal actions need to be taken or whether they violated civil or criminal laws. This is an abomination, and it is unacceptable."

Racial implications

Rep. Jackson Lee said immigration is the federal government's responsibility, and she said there really is a "process" at the border:

"People who haven't been to the border don't know that there is a process," she said. "These officers are processing individuals. They are given papers, and in many instances, the process is they can go to a place where they may have a family member. I've seen that happen.

"Why the interference of these governors to literally grandstand politically, one, putting National Guard at the border, some of these National Guard persons are committing suicide.

"But working with President Biden, and Homeland Security, and Judiciary or the Department of Justice, we can work with these states by giving them more funding, by giving more staffing, by moving staff from one part of the border to the next. And providing a viable place where the refugees can go.

"So yes, we can work together. But we cannot work together on what I think has racial implications and the very fact that migrants, refugees, were dropped at the vice president's home, I have to say, as a woman and a black woman, I'm incensed.

"I think we can do better, and these are stunts that should not be tolerated. And frankly, both Departments, Homeland Security and Justice, needs to investigate these governors because it is not funny at all."

In a series of tweets on Friday, Jackson Lee wrote:

-- "I am sick and tired of the shenanigans, tomfoolery and outright indecency by the Governors of Texas, Arizona, and Florida in shipping human beings like insignificant cargo.

-- "Stop misusing the tax dollars of the people of Arizona, Florida and Texas; many of whom do not agree with these horrendous actions by their elected public officials.

-- "Further, I believe there should be Congressional hearings over these outrageous and potentially criminal actions. There is a better way for federal immigration reform; which is being blocked by the very party that these governors are members of."

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