Chicago receives first migrant bus from Texas

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JUNE 07: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot greets guests at an event held to celebrate Pride Month at the Center on Halstead, a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community center, on June 07, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. Lightfoot is the first openly gay mayor of the city of Chicago. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – JUNE 07: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot greets guests at an event on June 07, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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UPDATED 6:50 AM PT – Thursday, September 1, 2022

Chicago received the latest bus of migrants courtesy of the Lone Star State. On Wednesday evening, a bus carrying 80 to 100 individuals, largely from Venezuela, pulled into the Windy City’s Union Station. The migrants originally crossed the southern border from Mexico into Texas.

The move is part of Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s program to show so-called sanctuary cities the strain of Joe Biden’s border crisis. The governor called upon Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot to make good on her promise to accept the new arrivals, regardless of immigration status, and give overrun border towns some much needed relief. Lightfoot bashed the Republican for the stunt while calling it inhumane.

“Shame on Governor Abbott,” stated the Chicago mayor. “What he is doing is immoral, unpatriotic and it defies the values of who we are as Americans. We can disagree on policy and politics, but you don’t treat people this way.”

Lightfoot may have been right as her city boasted almost 29 murders per 100,000 people in 2020, which is well above the national average of 6.5 per 100,000. Chicago isn’t showing any signs of slowing down as it eclipsed 800 homicides last year, a murder rate not seen in the city since 1994.

However, a Lightfoot spokesman said the Windy City will ensure the new arrivals receive “shelter, food, and most importantly protection.” The mayor said Chicago will decide on a more permanent location for the migrants in the coming days.

“But in Chicago, we are ready, we are prepared and we will make sure that none of these folks are left in a lurch, but there’s gotta’ be a better way.”

Chicago is the third Democrat-run city to receive migrants as New York and Washington D.C. have already been receiving shipments from Texas. Governor Abbott has touted both cities as perfect destinations for migrants, highlighting the services New York Mayor Eric Adams advertised to sanctuary seekers.

Neither mayor has welcomed the opportunity to demonstrate their hospitality as D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has requested National Guard assistance from the White House twice. Both requests were denied.

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Amber Coakley
Author: Amber Coakley

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