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3 busloads of migrants were dropped off near Vice President Harris' residence

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Someone chose Christmas Eve to use human beings to make a political point. Buses carried migrants from Texas to the residence of the vice president in Washington. They were dropped off in a city where temperatures had fallen to 18 degrees. Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis have sent other groups of migrants to northern cities, seizing attention for their critique of President Biden's immigration policies. Our colleague Andrew Limbong spoke earlier with Amy Fischer, an organizer with the Migrant Solidarity Mutual Aid Network.

AMY FISCHER: We had volunteers ready to meet the buses and then immediately transfer onto buses that were provided by the city to transport them to a church that had volunteers, hot food, clothes waiting for people, toys for the kiddos. And then from there, we helped talk to everybody and help them on their way, whether it was helping with transportation for them to get to their final destination or providing ongoing support for those that are choosing to stay in D.C.

ANDREW LIMBONG, BYLINE: A lot of the criticisms behind these bus drop-off maneuvers have been that they're kind of, like, more political ploys. But this is actually kind of helpful to some migrants, right? It helps them get from Point A to Point B along on their journey. Do you have a take on that?

FISCHER: That's exactly right. At the end of the day, everybody that arrived here was able to get free transportation on a charter bus that got them closer to their final destination.

LIMBONG: So what's next for these migrants?

FISCHER: They have to work through their asylum proceedings to try and stay in the United States permanently. At the border, the Department of Homeland Security seizes their documents. So they don't have passports. They don't have a way to identify themselves. They don't have work permits. So it's quite difficult for them to get jobs and get settled. But I think that's very much their intention, is to find ways to build new lives here in the United States.

(SOUNDBITE OF TIM SCHAUFERT'S "JOURNEY")

INSKEEP: Amy Fischer of the Migrant Solidarity Mutual Aid Network talking with our colleague Andrew Limbong.

(SOUNDBITE OF TIM SCHAUFERT'S "JOURNEY") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.