Gov. Abbott Issues Response To Pleading From Mayor Lightfoot

In an ongoing battle between Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Abbott has made it clear that he will not halt the sending of migrants to Lightfoots city despite her plea to do so. Lightfoot, a Democrat, sent Abbott a letter on Sunday complaining that Chicago does not have the resources to take in the flow of people and that some of them have been kept in public spaces like police stations until shelter can be provided.

Abbott, a Republican, responded on Monday with a letter of his own, urging Lightfoot to take her complaint to President Joe Biden and stressing that the responsibility for the current border crisis lies with him. Abbott wrote,To provide muchneeded relief to our overrun border communities, Texas began busing migrants to sanctuary cities such as yourWelcoming City,’ along with Washington, D.C., New York City, and Philadelphia, with more to come. Until Biden secures the border to stop the inflow of mass migration, Texas will continue this necessary program.

Lightfoot traveled to the White House in midApril to discuss the need for federal funding to accommodate the influx of migrants coming into Chicago. She and Abbott both agree that the situation will only worsen when the Covid ban on migrants, known as Title 42, is lifted on May 11.

Abbott has been sending border migrants to other cities, saying socalled sanctuary cities should have to grapple with the plight of border towns. Lightfoot argued that federal resources flow into states like Texas to mitigate the financial impact of immigration, but not to the cities receiving migrants. She has called on the federal government for more resources and support, and threatened to withhold all FEMA funding slated for Texas if chartered buses resume coming to Chicago.

There have been some serious repercussions of Abbotts actions. The head of the Chicago Police Fraternal Order of Police filed a grievance Monday concerning the citys housing of migrants in police stations. Social service groups have complained that theyre running out of space and that there is a lack of coordination from Abbotts office, leaving them no time or ability to accommodate the influx.

In response, Abbott argued that Chicagos issue is minimal compared to the situation in Texas border towns. He said,With Title 42 expulsions set to end next week, the federal government has estimated that we could have up to 13,000 illegal immigrants cross the U.S.–Mexico border every single day. 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. If Chicago cant deal with 8,000 in less than a year, how are small Texas border communities supposed to manage 13,000 in just one day?

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker made a statement on Monday that $200 million in state and federal funding has been committed to helping asylumseekers find housing and other accommodations. He also suggested that Abbott is doing what he can to cause problems in Democratically controlled states and cities.

Joshua Hoyt, a board cochair of the American Business Immigration Coalition, an advocacy group, had this to say about the situation:Abbott was going out of his way to be an ahole about it. Abbotts office did not respond to the comment.

The battle between Abbott and Lightfoot shows no signs of slowing down, and it remains to be seen whether Abbott will eventually give into Lightfoots plea to halt the sending of migrants to Chicago.


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