Individuals are not forced to leave Texas and they must have documentation from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to board a bus. Abbott clarified this detail after making the initial announcement about the bussing program.
“President Biden’s inaction at our southern border continues putting the lives of Texans — and Americans — at risk and is overwhelming our communities,” Abbott said.
“To continue providing much-needed relief to our small, overrun border towns, Chicago will join fellow sanctuary cities Washington, D.C. and New York City as an additional drop-off location. 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.”
The governor’s office claimed that the program is “providing much-needed relief to Texas’ overwhelmed border communities.” While the update did not provide the number of illegal immigrants sent to Chicago, Abbott’s office stated last week that 7,400 have been bussed to Washington, D.C. and another 1,500 have been sent to New York City.
In July, there were about 118,000 enforcement encounters with illegal immigrants in Texas border patrol sectors, per statistics from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
A spokesperson for Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot indicated in a statement on Wednesday that there were about 60 people aboard the bus to Chicago. Most of them were reportedly Venezuelan.
“As a city, we are doing everything we can to ensure these immigrants and their families can receive shelter, food, and most importantly protection,” the statement read, adding that “Chicago welcomes hundreds of migrants every year.”
“Unfortunately, Texas Governor Greg Abbott is without any shame or humanity. But ever since he put these racist practices of expulsion in place, we have been working with our community partners to ready the city to receive these individuals.”
Republicans contend that illegal immigration is harmful to both Americans and those crossing the border illegally. Border agents routinely rescue individuals from human trafficking and respond to medical emergencies in the south Texas wilderness.
Most of the U.S. border with Mexico is in Texas, and officials from both parties having warned the Biden administration about the lack of resources in jurisdictions along the border to handle surges of illegal immigration.
Border guards arrested illegal aliens about 1.8 million times between ports of entry through July, the latest month for which data is available. The Biden administration accused Abbott last month of “using migrants as a political pawn.”
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Hayden Sparks is a senior reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."