- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 1, 2022

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot lashed out at Texas after her city became the latest target for Gov. Greg Abbott’s migrant busing campaign, calling the move “racist” but saying her city is ready to take the newcomers.

She vowed to welcome the migrants and treat them better than the “racism, discrimination and human cruelty” she said they suffered in Texas, with offers of housing, food and “protection.” Through a spokesperson, she blasted Mr. Abbott for forcing the situation onto her.

“Texas Governor Greg Abbott is without any shame or humanity,” the spokesperson said.

Chicago becomes the latest Democratic-led city to be targeted by Mr. Abbott, who is intent on sharing the massive migrant surge with other parts of the country.

The District of Columbia has received thousands of migrants since the busing campaign started in April.

After New York Mayor Eric Adams griped that his city was struggling to handle a few thousand illegal immigrants in its homeless shelters, Mr. Abbott started shipping migrants to his city, too. He said it would give New Yorkers a sense of what Texans have been facing.

SEE ALSO: Texas ships first batch of illegal immigrants to Chicago

In a statement Wednesday, Mr. Abbott signaled that he is targeting sanctuary cities, which restrict cooperation with federal immigration authorities. Some analysts say sanctuary cities act as magnets for illegal immigration.

“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,” Mr. Abbott said.

Mr. Adams and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser complained about the newcomers, but Ms. Lightfoot seemed to take Mr. Abbott’s challenge head-on.

“This is such an important moment for Chicago as a city has been a sanctuary for thousands of newcomers. We are welcoming them and we will not turn our backs on those who need our help the most,” her office said.

The mayor also took swipes at the Trump administration.

“We know that racism, discrimination, and human cruelty have played a pivotal role in how immigrants are received within our borders, and we are still working to recover from the previous presidential administration, which encouraged this behavior,” the mayor’s office said.

Ms. Lightfoot’s office called Mr. Abbott’s busing policy “racist practices of expulsion.”

Since the busing program began in April, Texas has sent more than 7,000 illegal immigrants to other locations at state expense.

Texas says it is taking illegal immigrants whom the Biden administration catches and releases onto its streets and putting them onto buses to go elsewhere. All migrants who board the buses do so voluntarily, Texas says.

The Biden administration has lashed out at the governor, though it has sent conflicting messages.

The White House initially mocked the busing campaign by saying the migrants likely would be heading to those destinations anyway and were going at Texas taxpayers’ expense. The administration later complained that Texas was complicating the Homeland Security Department’s ability to keep track of released migrants.

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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