Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot lashed out at Texas after her city became the latest target for Gov. Greg Abbott’s migrant busing campaign, calling the move “racist” but saying her city is ready to take the newcomers.
She vowed to welcome the migrants and treat them better than the “racism, discrimination and human cruelty” she said they’ve suffered in Texas, with offers of housing, food and “protection.” And through a spokesperson, she blasted Mr. Abbott for forcing the situation on her.
“Texas Governor Greg Abbott is without any shame or humanity,” the spokesperson said.
Chicago becomes the latest Democratic-led city to be targeted by Mr. Abbott, who is intent on sharing the pain his state is feeling from the massive migrant surge with the rest of the country.
Washington, D.C., has received thousands of migrants since the busing campaign started in April.
Then, after New York Mayor Eric Adams griped that his city was struggling to handle a few thousand illegal immigrants in its homeless shelters, Mr. Abbott started shipping migrants to his city, too, saying it would give New Yorkers more of a taste of what Texans have been dealing with.
SEE ALSO: Texas ships first batch of illegal immigrants to Chicago
In a statement Wednesday he signaled he is targeting sanctuary cities that restrict cooperation with federal immigration authorities, and which some analysts say act as magnets for more illegal immigration.
“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,” Mr. Abbott said.
Unlike Mr. Adams and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, who both complained about the newcomers, Ms. Lightfoot seemed to take Mr. Abbott’s challenge head on
“This is such an important moment for Chicago as a city has been a sanctuary for thousands of newcomers. We are welcoming them and we will not turn our backs on those who need our help the most,” her office said.
The mayor also took swipes at the Trump administration.
“We know that racism, discrimination, and human cruelty have played a pivotal role in how immigrants are received within our borders, and we are still working to recover from the previous presidential administration, which encouraged this behavior,” the mayor’s office said.
And the mayor’s office called Mr. Abbott’s busing policy “racist practices of expulsion.”
Since it began in April, Texas has shipped more than 7,000 illegal immigrants to other locations at state expense.
Texas says it is taking illegal immigrants whom the Biden administration caught and released onto its streets and putting them on buses to head elsewhere. All migrants who get on the buses have done so voluntarily, Texas says.
The Biden administration has lashed out at the governor, though it’s sent conflicting messages.
The White House initially mocked the busing campaign, saying the migrants were likely to be headed to those destinations anyway, and now are going at Texas taxpayers’ expense. But the administration later changed tactics and complained that Texas was complicating Homeland Security’s ability to keep track of released migrants.
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