Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday said that illegal aliens apprehended along the U.S.-Mexico border are now being bused to Chicago in addition to New York City and Washington.
Abbott said his strategy to bus illegal immigrants from Texas to the Democrat-led sanctuary cities makes a strategic point about the impact of President Joe Biden's "open border policies" on American communities.
"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."
Acknowledging Chicago's sanctuary city policies, Abbott said Mayor Lori Lightfoot "loves to tout" that her city welcomes illegal immigrants as a matter of "responsibility."
Chicago Calls Busing Program 'Racist'The Chicago mayor's office confirmed that around 60 illegal aliens arrived at Union Square from Texas on Wednesday night and were being provided with essential services while they "navigate the next steps of their journey."
The spokesperson also accused Abbott of having no "shame or humanity" and described the busing program as "racist practices."
The mayors of Washington and New York City, Muriel Bowser and Eric Adams, have also criticized the busing program, calling it a political stunt.
But Abbott has said the illegal immigrants voluntarily chose to go to their cities where there is more capacity to serve them.
The Texas governor first directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management in April to charter buses to transport illegal immigrants who claimed asylum when apprehended along the U.S.-Mexico border to Washington.
New York City was added as a second drop-off location in August.
Since then, more than 8,900 illegal aliens have been bused out of Texas to those cities, providing "much-needed relief to Texas' overwhelmed border communities," according to Abbott’s office.
Chicago's 'Welcoming City Ordinance'
Lightfoot signed Chicago's "Welcoming City Ordinance" measure in February 2021 to strengthen the city's sanctuary policies, which prevented local police from cooperating with federal immigration authorities.
Abbott's office noted that under this policy Chicago doesn't deny city services to individuals based on their immigration status.
"With its 'Welcoming City Ordinance' making it a sanctuary city, Chicago will not deny city services to individuals based on their immigration status. The city also does not require local police to cooperate with federal immigration authorities," Abbott's office said.