Texas Sends Illegal Immigrants on a Plane After Chicago Blocks Buses

Caden Pearson
By Caden Pearson
December 20, 2023Border Security
Texas Sends Illegal Immigrants on a Plane After Chicago Blocks Buses
Illegal immigrants line up as they wait for a bus to Chicago at the NGO Mission Border Hope's complex to transport them out of Eagle Pass, Texas, on Sept. 26, 2023. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)

Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas) escalated his response to the border crisis on Tuesday, resorting to flights after Chicago impounded buses sent by Texas to drop off illegal immigrants.

This marks the first time the Lone Star State has used a plane to transport illegal immigrants out of the state to liberal sanctuary jurisdictions. The move adds a new dimension to the tension between the Republican-led state and local authorities as they grapple with the challenges posed by the influx of migrants illegally entering the country.

Andrew Mahaleris, Mr. Abbott’s spokesman, said Texas transported more than 120 migrants from El Paso to Chicago on Tuesday afternoon. Mr. Mahaleris shared news of the flight on social media, noting it was a response to Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson’s “failing to live up to his city’s ‘Welcoming City’ ordinance by targeting migrant buses from Texas.”

“Nearly every single day, Chicago’s mayor attacks Governor Abbott for busing migrants to his sanctuary city,” Mr. Mahaleris said in an earlier post on X. “He needs to check his campaign website, where he promises to welcome them with open arms.”

Chicago’s resistance to Texas buses has led to the city imposing fines on the state’s buses for dropping illegal immigrants off outside of designated areas and impounding at least one bus last week, reported ABC7.

“Sanctuary city Chicago started obstructing and targeting our busing mission. Texas will now expand our operation to include flights to Chicago,” Mr. Abbott wrote on X. “Until Biden steps up to secure the border, we will continue to provide overwhelmed Texas border towns with much-needed relief.”

The Texas governor’s administration has faced criticism for the initiative, accused by officials and illegal immigrant rights groups of using people as political pawns.

On Tuesday, Chicago’s mayor accused the Texas governor of “invoking chaos” around the country and said the busing program “has not centered people’s humanity.” He also claimed that people, some of whom he said were arriving sick and hungry, were being “forced on buses without knowing where they were going.”

He added that, amid the influx of illegal immigrants, Chicago is already grappling with homelessness, mental health issues, and joblessness.

“The governor of Texas needs to take a look in the mirror with the chaos he’s causing for the people of this country,” Mr. Jonhson said.

The program, which has transported 23,800 migrants to Chicago as of last week, has been defended by the governor as a means to alleviate stress on Texas border communities and as a protest against what he has said are lax border policies under President Biden.

Mr. Abbott’s spokesperson said all passengers signed voluntary waivers to board the flight to Chicago, reported WTTW. Defending the relocation program, he said in further comments on social media that Democrats in Chicago are now “waking up to the reality that open border policies are failed policies.”

White House Calls Move a ‘Political Stunt’

The White House responded to the latest development, accusing Republican leaders in Texas and Florida, which has also flown illegal immigrants to liberal states, of engaging in “political stunts” around border security and illegal immigration.

“What we have seen from Republican leaders, as it relates to border security, immigration more broadly, have been political stunts,” said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. She characterized certain actions as “cruel” and “dehumanizing, demoralizing” and argued that they do not “make their communities safer.”

“It actually puts it more at risk,” Ms. Jean-Pierre added. “And their political stunts that tend to be cruel, tend to be dehumanizing, demoralizing.”

“Sadly, Republican leaders, they are not doing this in a way that’s helpful to our, to our security or to their community,” she added. “And it has been political stunt after political stunt.”

In response to the White House criticism, Mr. Abbott’s spokesperson fired back, saying: “The hypocrisy of the Biden Administration is astounding. Until President Biden steps up and does his job to secure the border, Texas will continue busing migrants to sanctuary cities to provide relief to our overrun and overwhelmed border towns.”

Mr. Abbott’s office reported this week that Texas has transported more than 82,900 migrants to various cities, such as Washington, New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Denver, and Los Angeles.

From The Epoch Times

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