Abbott, in a letter to Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) on Monday, lambasted the Biden administration for the influx of migrants along the U.S. border with Mexico while dismissing pleas that he stop sending migrants around the U.S.
“As the mayor of a self-declared sanctuary city, it is ironic to hear you 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,” Abbott wrote to the Chicago mayor. “To provide much-needed relief to our overrun border communities, Texas began busing migrants to sanctuary cities such as your ‘Welcoming City.’”
“Until Biden secures the border to stop the inflow of mass migration, Texas will continue this necessary program,” he concluded.
Abbott’s response came a day after Lightfoot urged the governor to stop busing migrants to her city, saying he had intentionally created a “humanitarian crisis” by sending more than 8,000 men, women and children there from Texas. Chicago is a so-called sanctuary city that has pledged not to ask any residents about their immigration status or disclose such information to authorities. The city has also vowed not to deny any services based on immigration status.
“Nearly all the migrants have been in dire need of food, water, and clothing and many needed extensive medical care. Some of the individuals you placed on buses were women in active labor, and some were victims of sexual assault,” Lightfoot said in a letter to Abbott. “None of these urgent needs were addressed in Texas. Instead, these individuals and families were packed onto buses and shipped across the country like freight without regard to their personal circumstances.”
Lightfoot went on to say she would reach out to the Federal Emergency Management Agency to ask that it stop sending funding to Texas, but noted she would rather work with Abbott than against him. The Chicago mayor said the city has struggled to find space to house the migrants and has appealed to FEMA for federal funding.
The Department of Homeland Security said it is preparing for a border influx when Title 42 expires next week. The rule, dating from the pandemic, denied asylum to migrants amid the COVID-19 pandemic.