Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has questioned Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's Christian faith after the Lone Star State bussed asylum seekers to her city to mitigate the influx of immigrants crossing its borders.
Lightfoot addressed the arrival of dozens of illegal immigrants in her city in a press conference Sunday. Abbott, a Republican, has been sending buses of migrants seeking asylum in the United States detained at the border to major cities, all of which have classified themselves as sanctuary cities that open their arms to the migrants.
HAPPENING NOW: Mayor Lightfoot and City leaders hold a media availability.— Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) September 4, 2022
Lightfoot criticized what she described as Abbott's failure to engage in "coordination and cooperation" with local officials in Chicago and Illinois.
"He chooses to do none of those things and instead tries to send human beings, not cargo, not freight but human beings across the country to an uncertain destination," she said.
"We have yet to hear from anybody in an official capacity from Texas. That's unacceptable. We're talking about human beings' lives, who have themselves gone through an incredible journey just to get to the United States. I think the decent human thing to do is to cooperate and collaborate."
Maintaining that Abbott is "manufacturing a human crisis," Lightfoot stressed that its part of her "agenda to be a welcoming city." She defended her efforts to "provide a safe, welcoming space here in the city of Chicago," adding, "This is a time for us to live our values."
After acknowledging that she understands "the pressures that the people of Texas and some of the other border states are going through," Lightfoot accused Abbott of "treating people without dignity [and] without respect." She condemned his "unpatriotic conduct."
"We welcome those who have struggled to find a decent quality of life elsewhere, and the way that we welcome them is not what the governor of Texas is doing. It is absolutely un-American," she stated.
"He professes to be a Christian. This is not the Christianity and the teachings of the Bible that I know."
Abbott began busing illegal immigrants who crossed the border from Mexico into Texas to Washington, D.C. earlier this year after the Biden administration indicated its intention to revoke Title 42. Title 42 allowed border officials to turn away those seeking entry into the U.S. due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.
Abbott's transportation of immigrants to the nation's capital was part of an attempt to argue that the surge in border crossings overwhelming his state is a result of the federal government, specifically the Biden administration's immigration policy.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has recorded 1,946,780 land encounters at the southwest border with Mexico in the fiscal year 2022, with two months remaining.
The first 10 months of fiscal year 2022 have seen more land encounters between border officials and migrants than all of fiscal year 2021, where CBP recorded 1,734,686 encounters. The number of monthly border crossings has remained above 100,000 every month the Biden administration has been in office, reaching a peak of 241,166 in June of this year before declining to 199,976 by August.
"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," reads a statement last Wednesday from Abbott's office.
"Mayor Lightfoot loves to tout the responsibility of her city to welcome all regardless of legal status," Abbott said. "I look forward to seeing this responsibility in action as these migrants receive resources from a sanctuary city with the capacity to serve them."
New York City joined Washington, D.C. as a destination for illegal immigrants in early August. As of late August, Texas has sent over 7,400 migrants to Washington, D.C. and more than 1,500 migrants to New York City.
In her remarks Sunday, Lightfoot requested "any assistance that we can get from the federal government."
New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat, also requested assistance from the federal government when the first bus of migrants arrived in his city last month, in addition to echoing Lightfoot's rhetoric about Abbott's actions and the value of sanctuary cities.
"@GregAbbott_TX used innocent people as political pawns to manufacture a crisis. New Yorkers are stepping up to fix it – that's our city's values. But we need the federal government's help – money, technical assistance and more," he stated on Twitter.
.@GregAbbott_TX used innocent people as political pawns to manufacture a crisis. New Yorkers are stepping up to fix it — that’s our city’s values.— Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMayor) August 7, 2022
But we need the federal government’s help — money, technical assistance and more. pic.twitter.com/cOdXrULpcC
New York City Mayor Eric Adams is either unaware or refuses to acknowledge the realities of Pres. Biden’s open border policies.— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) August 24, 2022
Mayor Adams is dealing with only a fraction of what small border towns in Texas are grappling with daily.
Read my op-ed ??https://t.co/qjO5QRWCyc
Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org