Immigrant buses make pit stops in Dade County

County Sheriff says passengers are headed for Washington D.C., some tried getting off in Rising Fawn

DADE COUNTY, Georgia (WDEF) — The Dade County Sheriff’s Office took to social media this afternoon saying they had received a call that tour buses were dropping off immigrants at a pair of local gas stations.

Dade County Sheriff Ray Cross says the passengers are from Venezuela and have been traveling from Texas to Washington D.C.

Dade County is supposedly just one of the bus’ numerous re-fueling stops.

It’s no different from the recent similar busloads of immigrants making the journey from Texas to either Washington or New York City.

Upon receiving the call, Cross immediately arrived on location to observe the scene.

On Facebook, the sheriff’s department posted that the bus was “en route to D.C.,” but the bus driver was seemingly encouraging the passengers to get off in Rising Fawn, Georgia, “with the impression that Chattanooga was within walking distance.”

“The governor of Texas, Governor Abbott, is trying to get them out of his state — I don’t blame him a bit,” Cross said. “Once he gets them out of his state, he sends them north. He’s trying to get them to Washington D.C. where the problem is [and] where they’re not doing anything about the border, and they’re dropping them off in between — the bus lines are. I don’t think it’s the governor’s fault. I think that’s the bus line’s fault.”

The sheriff called in a translator, who spoke to both the passengers and bus staff.

After a short discussion, Cross says the passengers decided to get back on the bus and continue on to Washington, as Dade County doesn’t have the necessary resources to accommodate the immigrants like major cities can.

“Taking people who know nothing about a country and dropping them off in the middle of nowhere in farm country, that’s not right,” said Dade County Sheriff’s Office Spokesman Chad Payne. “People shouldn’t do other people that way. If you’re going to drop them off somewhere, that bus line is going to push those people off, they need to put them somewhere where they at least have a chance.”

Cross told News 12 that while all passengers reboarded the bus, it was done in the interest of still going to Chattanooga.

Georgia state legislators such as Representative Mike Cameron, as well as Governor Brian Kemp’s office, have been contacted and briefed on the situation.

“We can not enforce federal laws,” Cross said. “This is a federal situation that needs to be handled. We contacted INS yesterday and they said their hands are tied. There’s nothing they can do because of the current administration.”

Cross says the manager of both gas stations receiving the immigrant influx has called on him to do something about it, but as previously mentioned, local officials can not enforce such federal law.

He also says the governor’s office responded to him this morning, saying they told the bus line to halt further stops in Dade County.

Despite this, Cross says another bus stop was additionally made Thursday.

Categories: Dade County, Featured, Local News