Illinois governor begs Texas to stop sending illegal immigrants to Chicago

"Your callousness, sending buses and planes full of migrants in this weather, is now life-threatening to every one of the arrivals."

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
On Friday, Democrat Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker begged Texas Governor Greg Abbott in a strongly worded letter to stop sending illegal immigrants to the state's sanctuary city of Chicago, which is buckling under the strain.

Pritzker told Abbott that illegal immigrants could die if sent to the Windy City, due to a significant upcoming winter storm. He accused Abbott, who has been transporting illegal migrants from the state of Texas via buses and planes to sanctuary cities across the US, of having a cruel disregard for human life.

"While action is pending at the federal level, I plead with you for mercy for the thousands of people who are powerless to speak for themselves," said Pritzker in the letter, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. "Please, while winter is threatening vulnerable people's lives, suspend your transports and do not send more people to our state."

"Your callousness, sending buses and planes full of migrants in this weather, is now life-threatening to every one of the arrivals," Pritzker wrote. "Hundreds of children's and families' health and survival are at risk due to your actions."

Reports show that an estimated 34,562 migrants have arrived in Chicago since Abbott began diverting illegal immigrants away from Texas and into other states, such as New York and Illinois. Since June 2023, daily flights to O'Hare and Midway international airports have transported 4,468 illegal immigrants, according to the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications.

The Chicago-Sun reports that city officials are anticipating one busload of illegal immigrants that is expected to touch down in Chicago on Friday.

There are 408 migrants awaiting placement in shelters, out of 14,574 that are currently occupying 28 operational shelters, city officials said, according to the outlet.

Abbott is accused, in the heated letter by Pritzker, of "having no interest in working on bipartisan resolutions to the border crisis, because that would put an end to your cruel political game."

On Wednesday, Pritzker stated that the state of Illinois is attempting to stop businesses from renting their aircrafts to the state of Texas. He expressed his belief that the state has implemented a tactic that is discouraging the transit of illegal immigrants. Executives have been in communication with officials at airports throughout the state to alert them to the flights, according to the outlet.

"We're trying to prevent those companies from leasing their planes to the state of Texas. You can't, in general, you can't tell a group a people or an aircraft that it can't come somewhere. On the other hand, there are lots of things that I think would be a significant deterrent and they already are working," the governor said.

Abbott declared in November that the state of Texas has bussed tens of thousands of illegal immigrants elsewhere, including "over 12,500 to DC, over 25,000 to New York City, over 20,000 to Chicago, over 3,200 to Philadelphia, over 7,400 to Denver, over 1,100 to Los Angeles." The Texas governor also vowed that he wouldn't stop sending them out of Texas anytime soon.

Abbott claims that this "mission provides vital relief to border towns."

Earlier this week, Democrat Mayor of Chicago Brandon Johnson accused Abbott of "attacking" cities run by black leaders by shipping in illegal immigrants.
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