(The Center Square) – In response to outgoing Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot blaming Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for illegal foreign nationals flooding the Windy City, he told her to call on President Joe Biden to secure the border and fix the problem he says the president created.
Lightfoot wrote Abbott Sunday calling on him to appeal “to your better nature” to stop the “inhumane and dangerous action” of busing illegal foreign nationals to Chicago.
Last August, Abbott began a busing strategy to assist Texas border communities inundated with foreign nationals who’d illegally entered the U.S. and were being unlawfully released into Texas by busing them to so-called sanctuary cities. Since then, over 8,000 voluntarily agreed to receive free, taxpayer-funded transportation to Chicago, Abbott said.
Lightfoot said their arrival “has resulted in a critical tipping point in our ability to receive individuals and families in a safe, orderly and dignified way. We simply have no more shelters, spaces or resources to accommodate an increase of individuals at this level, with little coordination or care, that does not pose a risk to them or others.”
She accused the governor of “telling them to go to Chicago” even though all who are bused voluntarily signed a waiver and picked which of four cities they wanted to go to: Chicago, Washington, D.C., New York or Philadelphia.
She said the 8,000 presented a “completely untenable” situation. She also argued, “The national immigration problem will not be solved by passing on the responsibility to other cities” while also claiming, “this is not a state v. state or city v. city problem.”
“For the good of our country and the individuals who are seeking safety in refuge, let’s work together to find a real solution,” she said, which “will never be the unilateral busing of migrants to cities like Chicago.”
In response, Abbott clarified that while Texas is on the frontlines of a catastrophe created by the Biden administration, what’s happening isn’t “a Texas problem” but is a “problem for the entire United States.”
In a letter sent to Lightfoot on Monday, he said it was “ironic” for a mayor of a self-declared sanctuary city “to complain about Chicago’s struggle to deal with a few thousand illegal immigrants, which is a fraction of the record-high numbers we deal with in Texas on a regular basis. Texas border towns like Eagle Pass, Brownsville, and Laredo – and even bigger cities like El Paso – cannot handle the flood of illegal immigrants rushing across our southern border.”
In March, for example, Border Patrol agents in the Del Rio Sector of Texas apprehended 24,715 illegal foreign nationals and reported 11,867 gotaways – those who illegally enter primarily between ports of entry and intentionally seek to evade capture by law enforcement.
Gotaways have totaled well over 1 million since Biden’s been in office, the majority of them have been reported in Texas, Border Patrol agents have reported to The Center Square.
The Biden administration has announced its plan to usher into the U.S. even more foreign nationals ahead of the public health authority Title 42 ending May 11. Abbott points to estimates that up to 13,000 people are expected to illegally cross the U.S.–Mexico border every single day after May 11.
“Some reports indicate that there are nearly 35,000 waiting to cross into El Paso as soon as Title 42 expulsions are no longer in effect,” he added. “If Chicago can’t deal with 8,000 in less than a year, how are small Texas border communities supposed to manage 13,000 in just one day?” he asked.
He also pointed out that “illegal crossings will be accompanied by criminal activity, gang violence, and deadly drugs like fentanyl. These problems do not stay in border communities in Texas. They make their way all throughout the country, including to the streets of Chicago. Innocent Americans are put at risk every day by these open-border policies.”
Since Abbott launched the state’s border security mission Operation Lone Star in March 2021, Texas law enforcement officials have apprehended more than 369,000 illegal foreign nationals and made over 27,000 criminal arrests, with more than 25,000 felony charges reported. They’ve also seized more than 383 million lethal doses of fentanyl, enough to kill everyone in the U.S., according to data from the governor’s office as of April 28.
It the mayor really wanted to “work together to find a real solution,” Abbott said, she’d “call on the Biden Administration to do its job by securing our border, repelling the illegal immigrants flooding into our communities, classifying the Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations, and intercepting the deadly fentanyl that is endangering our country.”
He also said Texas will continue to bus people north until the president “secures the border to stop the inflow of mass migration.”