Greg Abbott

‘He is a Man Without Any Morals,' Mayor Lightfoot Says of Gov. Abbott After He Buses 75 Migrants to Chicago

Chicago mayor says they welcome the migrants from Texas and said they'll treat them with respect and dignity

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Seventy-five immigrants bused from Texas by Gov. Greg Abbott have arrived in Chicago, the latest chapter of the bitter political battle over the immigration policy of President Joe Biden's administration.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot's office confirmed that the group arrived on Wednesday night and said the city welcomes them. The immigrants are being bused from Texas as part of a strategy launched by Abbott this year to share the influx of people from outside the United States with liberal cities. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has also adopted this policy.

"Let me say loud and clear to Greg Abbott and his enablers in Texas, with these continued political stunts Gov. Abbott has confirmed what unfortunately many of us have already known. That he is a man without any morals, humanity or shame. Instead of treating these individuals with the respect that they deserve, the due process that our laws require, Gov. Abbott chose instead to inhumanely load them on buses, send them on a more than 12-hour journey across a country that they don't know and drop them off without any regard for what the next steps are," Lightfoot said. "These are human beings, moms and dads, young children, elders, who deserve our respect and dignity. They're not cargo. They're not chattel. They're human beings, just like you and me."

Authorities did not specify the immigrants' countries of origin or say when they arrived in the United States, but Lightfoot said Thursday that the migrants were from Venezuela.

"Chicago is a welcoming city and as such has collaborated across various departments and agencies to ensure we greeted them with dignity and respect," Ryan Johnson, a Lightfoot representative, said in a tweet after the migrants began arriving at Union Station. "As a city, we are doing everything we can to ensure these immigrants and their families can receive shelter, food, and most importantly protection. Unfortunately, Texas Gov. 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."

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker offered his support for the new arrivals.

"Illinois welcomes refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants and we are working with federal and city officials to ensure that these individuals are treated with respect and safety as they look to connect with their family and friends," Pritzker said on Twitter.

The Democratic governor also drew on his family history in his welcome message.

"My great grandfather came to this country as an immigrant fleeing Ukraine in 1881. Immigrants just like my family seeking freedom and opportunity built this country," he tweeted.

Abbott has now bused immigrants to Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C. -- all three cities have Democratic mayors. He confirmed in a statement that the "first group" had been bused to Chicago, the Chicago Tribune reported.

And he suggested that more would be arriving, saying in his statement that Chicago has become a drop-off location as a solution to what he called Biden's "open border policies overwhelming border communities in Texas."

Abbott has been waging this battle for months and the mayors of New York and Washington have asked the Biden administration to help with what they describe as a surge of asylum-seeking migrants arriving from border states.

Earlier in the year, Abbott announced that state troopers would stop and inspect commercial vehicles crossing the U.S. Mexico border, a move he acknowledged would "dramatically slow" vehicle traffic near the U.S. ports of entry. He later eased that plan after massive gridlock at the border started to take an economic toll.

NBC 5 and the Associated Press.
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