Chicago mayor slams Texas Gov. Abbott as ‘reckless’ after migrant bus arrivals

Chicago mayor slams Texas Gov. Abbott as ‘reckless’ after migrant bus arrivals

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Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson (D) went after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Wednesday after the governor sent a flight full of migrants from Texas to Chicago.

“What Gov. Abbott is doing is, quite frankly, it’s reckless,” Johnson said in a CNN interview. 

Last week’s chartered flight of 120 migrants marked an expansion of Abbott’s migrant busing program, which has sent thousands of migrants from Texas to so-called sanctuary cities around the country as a form of protest against President Biden’s immigration policies.

“Sanctuary city Chicago started obstructing and targeting our busing mission. Texas will now expand our operation to include flights to Chicago,” Abbott wrote last Wednesday in a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “Until Biden steps up to secure the border, we will continue to provide overwhelmed Texas border towns with much-needed relief.” 

City leaders have widely denounced Abbott’s busing program. At least 26,000 migrants have arrived in Chicago via bus since late last year, according to city data, with another 4,200 arriving by air.

“Sending buses all over the state of Illinois and all over the country is reckless, and quite frankly, it’s dangerous,” Johnson continued.

The progressive mayor noted that he agrees with Abbott that state and local governments must do more about immigration, but he was clear that the pair don’t agree on how that should be done.

“What I’ve called for repeatedly is, again, a coordinated approach between state and local municipalities so that we can address this crisis,” Johnson said. “We need more resources.”

“In no way what the state of Texas is doing is helping the cause,” he continued. “As we recognize that there are challenges — significant challenges — at the border, we do need real substantive immigration reform and policies that allow us to have a structure and a pathway to citizenship.”

The flights started as Chicago raised penalties for bus companies that drop loads of migrants in the city without filing proper paperwork or using a designated drop-off location.

The White House slammed the move last week as a “political stunt.”

“Yet again, Governor Abbott is showing how little regard or respect he has for human beings,” White House spokesperson Angelo Fernández Hernández said in a statement to The Associated Press. “This latest political stunt just adds to his tally of extreme policies which seek to demonize and dehumanize people.” 

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