If you’re in stitches (as you should be) because of the ongoing and outraged claims by sanctuary cities like New York and Washington that they’re just getting overwhelmed by busloads of foreign migrants being sent to them by Texas and Arizona, this is a post for you.
And if you believe that these metropolises are indeed being unfairly and hopelessly inundated by the newcomers, this is also a post for you.
Because it’s hard to grasp the true scale and shamelessness of the hypocrisy of these supposedly welcoming metropolises without understanding the yawning population and wealth gaps that separate them from the Texas and Arizona border towns that have been struggling to cope with the migrant flows that have burgeoned during the Biden years.
Let’s start by reviewing how many migrants have been sent by border states to those two sanctuary cities and how many have been arriving at border towns in Texas, whose Republican Governor Greg Abbott started the busing in question in April. Abbott’s office and that of his Arizona counterpart, Doug Ducey, say they’ve bused nearly 11,000 in total. Of these, 9,300 have come from Texas and the rest from Arizona. The District of Columbia has been the destination for more than 9,000, and New York City for the rest.
Now let’s focus on the inflows into Texas – since Abbott has been the bus-er-in-chief to date. According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency, during the current fiscal year (so far, between last October and this past July), the state’s two designated border sectors with by far the most apprehended border crossers (Rio Grande Valley and Del Rio) have received 789,307 migrants overall who have needed to be absorbed and cared for at least temporarily.
That works out to some 1,377 migrants per day in the Rio Grande Valley sector and 1,254 migrants per day in the Del Rio sector. Which means that these Texas regions and their towns have had to deal with more migrants each week for a ten-month stretch as the grand total New York City and Washington, D.C. have had to deal during the four-month span between April and July.
But the Texas border towns are just miniscule in comparison. Here are the 2021 populations according to the U.S. Census Bureau of some of which have been especially burdened by the migrant tide:
Del Rio: 34,584
Rio Grande City: 15,670
Eagle Pass: 28,596
Their inhabitants all put together (334,737) total less than half the population of the District of Columbia (670,050) and less than four percent of New York City’s 8.468 million residents.
Further, these Texas towns are not only much smaller than either the District or New York. They’re much poorer, too. Here are their 2021 median incomes according to the Census Bureau:
Del Rio: $45,561
Rio Grande City: $38,542
Eagle Pass: $46,005
The figures for the “swamped” District and New York?
District of Columbia: $90,842
New York City: $67,046
In other words, median incomes in the wealthiest Texas town (Mission) are just 54 percent as high as Washington, D.C.’s and just 74 percent of New York’s.
And a much higher share of the populations of these Texas towns lives in poverty than in either the District or New York, meaning that they have no shortage of their own people requiring public resources without thousands of impoverished migrants streaming in each day. Here are the poverty rate data:
McAllen: 22.0 percent
Del Rio: 20.3 percent
Roma: 39.1 percent
Hidalgo: 31.6 percent
Mission: 19.5 percent
Rio Grande City: 29.6 percent
Eagle Pass: 25.2 percent
All these percentages are higher than that of D.C. (15 percent) or New York City (17.3 percent) – and in some cases, they’re considerably higher.
If these sanctuary city leaders had a shred of integrity, they’d raise taxes to accommodate the migrants they’ve already received and will keep receiving, or join with their Texas and Arizona counterparts in pressing for sensible and effective national immigration control and border security policies. Or both. Instead, they’re focused on ensuring that those least able keep paying wildly outsized shares of the costs of their Open Borders-friendly pretensions.