Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot used a Thursday press conference to welcome a group of migrants to the city after they were put on buses and driven north from Texas this week, but she also took the opportunity to blast Gov. Greg Abbott’s immigration as “racist and xenophobic.”
On Wednesday night, a bus of approximately 75 migrants arrived at Chicago’s Union Station after departing from Texas.
According to Abbott’s administration, the bussing strategy is being implemented because of the burden placed on Texas taxpayers due to the flow of asylum-seekers and migrants into the country at the southern border, but Lightfoot had much-harsher words for what she argues is occurring.
“This is about a cheap political point. It’s not about sharing the load,” she said. “To Greg Abbott and his enablers in Texas: with these continued political stunts, (he) has confirmed what many of us had already known: he’s a man without any morals, humanity, or shame.”
Abbott and his administration have also sent buses to Washington, D.C. and New York in recent months, and he has indicated that he will continue the program until President Joe Biden’s administration addresses what he calls a “crisis” at the southern border.
“President Biden’s inaction at our southern border continues putting the lives of Texans – and Americans – at risk and is overwhelming our communities,” he said in a statement.
While Abbott’s administration insists that they receive written permission before bussing asylum-seekers to northern cities, Lightfoot says the program smacks of being a political stunt designed to appeal to Republican voters at the expense of the dignity of those impacted.
“Governor Abbott’s racist and xenophobic practices of expulsion, have only amplified the challenges many of these migrants have experienced on their journey to find a safe place. This cannot be who we are as Americans."
It is unclear whether additional buses will arrive in coming days and weeks in Chicago, but Lightfoot says that efforts will continue to find food, shelter and supplies for those that do make their way to the city.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle were among the officials who pledged their support to the efforts, and 𝐿𝑖𝑔ℎ𝑡𝑓𝑜𝑜𝑡 𝑠𝑎𝑖𝑑 𝑠ℎ𝑒 𝑤𝑖𝑙𝑙 𝑙𝑖𝑘𝑒𝑙𝑦 𝑠𝑒𝑒𝑘 𝑓𝑒𝑑𝑒𝑟𝑎𝑙 𝑎𝑠𝑠𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑛𝑐𝑒 𝑎𝑠 𝑤𝑒𝑙𝑙 𝑖𝑛 𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑤𝑒𝑒𝑘𝑠.
“President Biden’s inaction at our southern border continues putting the lives of Texans — and Americans — at risk and is overwhelming our communities,” Abbott said Wednesday as he confirmed Chicago was its latest sanctuary-city target.
“Mayor Lightfoot loves to tout the responsibility of her city to welcome all regardless of legal status, and I look forward to seeing this responsibility in action as these migrants receive resources from a sanctuary city with the capacity to serve them.”
In a July deposition obtained by Fox News this week, the chief of the US Border Patrol also blamed Biden’s “no consequences” immigration policy for sparking the surge of illegal immigrants crossing into the US.
“In my experience, we have seen increases when there are no consequences,” Raul Ortiz said.
May I remind you, it does not say 'RSVP' on the Statue of Liberty