Texas begins busing migrants to Chicago

Texas begins busing migrants to Chicago

By PETER HANCOCK
Capitol News Illinois
phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com

SPRINGFIELD – At least 60 migrants arrived in Chicago Wednesday on buses from Texas as part of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s ongoing policy to send undocumented immigrants to so-called “sanctuary cities.”

But Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, both Democrats, say the new arrivals are welcome in Illinois, and they are vowing to make sure the new arrivals receive essential services.

“Illinois welcomes refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants and we are working with federal and city officials to ensure that these individuals are treated with respect and safety as they look to connect with their family and friends,” Pritzker said in a statement Wednesday night. “My great-grandfather came to this country as an immigrant fleeing Ukraine in 1881. Immigrants just like my family seeking freedom and opportunity built this country. Illinois is and has always been a welcoming state.”

Abbott launched the program in April when he issued a memo directing the state’s Department of Emergency Management “to begin coordinating the voluntary transportation” of immigrants who had been released from federal custody.

Abbott began by busing immigrants to Washington, D.C., and later to New York City. Chicago is the third city he has targeted to receive immigrants.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that most of those arriving Wednesday originated from Venezuela, a country in the grips of a yearslong economic crisis that has reportedly forced some 6.8 million inhabitants to leave their homeland.

Abbott’s memo also directed mayors and county judges to notify the agency of any “drop-offs” by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security “that may necessitate dispatching a bus, a plane, or some other means of evacuating such migrants from our State.”

The move was part of Abbott’s protest of President Joe Biden’s decision in April to end what are known as Title 42 expulsions – a practice used during the Trump administration to immediately expel immigrants, including asylum seekers, arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border based on public health concerns related to COVID-19.

Abbott has complained that the decision to end that program has resulted in an explosion of illegal border crossings into Texas and that the Biden administration has failed to deal with the issue.

“President Biden’s inaction at our southern border continues putting the lives of Texans – and Americans – at risk and is overwhelming our communities,” he said in a statement Wednesday. “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.”

“Mayor Lightfoot loves to tout the responsibility of her city to welcome all regardless of legal status,” he continued, “and I look forward to seeing this responsibility in action as these migrants receive resources from a sanctuary city with the capacity to serve them.”

A spokesperson for the mayor quickly fired back, posting a statement on Twitter around 8:30 p.m. saying: “We know that racism, discrimination, and human cruelty have played a pivotal role in how immigrants are received within our borders, and we are still working to recover from the previous presidential administration, which encouraged this behavior. This is such an important moment for Chicago as a city has been a sanctuary for thousands of newcomers. We are welcoming them and we will not turn our backs on those who need our help the most.”

According to a timeline by the Chicago Tribune, Chicago officially became a sanctuary city in 2006 with the passage of an ordinance prohibiting city agencies from inquiring about a person’s immigration status when they seek city services.

Another ordinance passed in 2012 prohibits police from detaining anyone solely on the belief that they are in the U.S. illegally and prohibiting them from cooperating with federal authorities when they believe a person’s immigration status is the only reason a warrant has been issued.

At the state level, Illinois lawmakers passed a package of bills in 2021 aimed at protecting the state’s immigrant population, including a requirement for local governments to end partnerships with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a law making a person’s citizenship or immigration status a potential motivation for a hate crime, and protections from workplace discrimination based on a person’s work authorization status.

At the same time he signed those bills, Pritzker also signed an executive order establishing a Welcoming Illinois Office within the governor’s office to develop and coordinate policies to make Illinois a more welcoming and equitable state for immigrants and refugees.

Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, issued a statement Thursday calling Abbott’s actions “abhorrent.”

“Using men, women, and children seeking asylum as political pawns is inhumane,” Welch said. “While he’s wasting $12 million taxpayer dollars on these stunts, Illinois will be working with state and federal officials to ensure these new Americans find opportunity, peace, and a new home in Illinois.”  

 

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government that is distributed to more than 400 newspapers statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

Leave a Comment





Local News

CRRNH_NewWarsaw_020724

New Warsaw saga continues

Spread the love

Spread the love. Neighbors to have a second say about banquet hall . By Dermot Connolly and Tim Hadac Several dozen Clearing residents interested in the future of the shuttered New Warsaw Restaurant & Banquets property, 6250 W. 63rd St., had their say last week. More than 50 people turned out on Feb. 14 at…

Sandburg players celebrate their Class 4A regional championship after defeating Romeoville in overtime on Feb. 15. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Girls Basketball | Sandburg outlasts Romeoville for first regional crown since 2016

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent It was the Eagles’ game to win and no one was going to change the outcome. On its home floor against a Romeoville team that had not lost this year, Sandburg used overtime to defeat the Spartans, 62-58, on Feb. 15 for the Class 4A Sandburg Regional title. It…

Evergreen Park guard Taylor Yeaman drives past Hinsdale South's Amelia Lavorato during the Hornets' regional final victory on Feb. 16. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Girls Basketball | Evergreen Park’s Scaduto signs off after career spanning four decades

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent The box score does not always give the full story of a game. Evergreen Park visited Hinsdale South on Feb. 16 with the hope of winning a regional championship.  Unfortunately for the Mustangs, the game did not go their way. The Hornets jumped to an 18-3 lead in the…

One man was shot to death and another was critically wounded early Saturday outside this McCook tavern. A Chicago man has been charged with first-degree murder. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

McCook police arrest Chicago man in fatal shooting

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong A Chicago man has been charged with first-degree murder in Saturday’s early morning shooting outside All Star Bar, 7949 W. 47th St. in McCook, which left one man dead and a second man wounded. Sisto A. Brito, 32, was charged Monday with one count of first-degree murder and two counts…

Lyons Mayor Christopher Getty presents Desmond Zuro a Standing Tall Award. Zuro, a sophomore at Morton West High School, placed 19th in the IHSA state bowling championship. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Lyons awards outstanding Morton high school bowler

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch Desmond Zuro has loved bowling since the first time he sent a ball toward the pins at Bowlero Lyons on 47th Street. Six years later, the Lyons resident is one of the best high school bowlers in the state. A sophomore at Morton West High School, Zuro placed 19th of…

Summit firefighters clean up a chemical spill on Interstate 55 on February 16. (Photo courtesy of Summit Fire Department)

Chemical spill on I-55 shuts down traffic for hours

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Carol McGowan Chemicals leaking from a semi-trailer truck that was stopped on the right shoulder of Interstate 55 near LaGrange Road in Summit caused the expressway to be shut down in both directions for most of the day last Friday, and caused traffic headaches in the surrounding area. All lanes were closed…

Township of Lyons trustees Donna McDonald (left) and Colleen Kelly discuss an issue at the Jan. 9 board meeting. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Renting copiers pays off for Township of Lyons

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch The Township of Lyons is actually saving money by renting four copiers instead of buying them. At its January meeting, the township board unanimously approved renewing a contract with Proven-IT for four new multi-function copiers. The township has worked with the company for five years, Township Supervisor Christopher Getty said.…

Illinois House Speaker Emanuel "Chris" Welch via Zoom at a recent Village of Stickney board meeting. (Supplied photo)

Speaker Welch joins in on recent Stickney board meeting

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports The Stickney Village Board welcomed Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch to a recent board meeting for a special briefing on the state legislature’s local government priorities for the spring session. Speaking from his Capitol office in Springfield via Zoom, Welch talked about key issues impacting municipalities, emphasizing fiscal stability,…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Girls Basketball | LW Central scrapes by Stagg for Andrew Regional crown

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Randy Whalen Correspondent Stagg was hoping the third time was the charm. For three quarters, it was. But the Chargers couldn’t convert in crunch time and saw Lincoln-Way Central rally for a 36-33 victory in the Class 4A Andrew Regional title game Feb. 16. It was Stagg’s third loss — by a…

Stagg senior Arianna Araujo, who did not qualify as an individual for the IHSA state tournament, nonetheless won the state title on Feb. 17. Photo by Randy Whalen

Girls Bowling State Finals | Stagg’s Arianna Araujo rolls to title

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Randy Whalen Correspondent Prior to the start of the IHSA girls bowling postseason, Stagg senior Arianna Araujo made a statement to her coach. “She told me that she was going to win state,” Chargers coach Rich Kowalczyk said. “I was like, ‘Let’s get through the regional first.’ But she had that much confidence in…

Neighbors

CRRNH_NewWarsaw_020724

New Warsaw saga continues

Spread the love

Spread the love. Neighbors to have a second say about banquet hall . By Dermot Connolly and Tim Hadac Several dozen Clearing residents interested in the future of the shuttered New Warsaw Restaurant & Banquets property, 6250 W. 63rd St., had their say last week. More than 50 people turned out on Feb. 14 at…

Sandburg players celebrate their Class 4A regional championship after defeating Romeoville in overtime on Feb. 15. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Girls Basketball | Sandburg outlasts Romeoville for first regional crown since 2016

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent It was the Eagles’ game to win and no one was going to change the outcome. On its home floor against a Romeoville team that had not lost this year, Sandburg used overtime to defeat the Spartans, 62-58, on Feb. 15 for the Class 4A Sandburg Regional title. It…

Evergreen Park guard Taylor Yeaman drives past Hinsdale South's Amelia Lavorato during the Hornets' regional final victory on Feb. 16. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Girls Basketball | Evergreen Park’s Scaduto signs off after career spanning four decades

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent The box score does not always give the full story of a game. Evergreen Park visited Hinsdale South on Feb. 16 with the hope of winning a regional championship.  Unfortunately for the Mustangs, the game did not go their way. The Hornets jumped to an 18-3 lead in the…

One man was shot to death and another was critically wounded early Saturday outside this McCook tavern. A Chicago man has been charged with first-degree murder. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

McCook police arrest Chicago man in fatal shooting

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong A Chicago man has been charged with first-degree murder in Saturday’s early morning shooting outside All Star Bar, 7949 W. 47th St. in McCook, which left one man dead and a second man wounded. Sisto A. Brito, 32, was charged Monday with one count of first-degree murder and two counts…

Lyons Mayor Christopher Getty presents Desmond Zuro a Standing Tall Award. Zuro, a sophomore at Morton West High School, placed 19th in the IHSA state bowling championship. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Lyons awards outstanding Morton high school bowler

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch Desmond Zuro has loved bowling since the first time he sent a ball toward the pins at Bowlero Lyons on 47th Street. Six years later, the Lyons resident is one of the best high school bowlers in the state. A sophomore at Morton West High School, Zuro placed 19th of…

Summit firefighters clean up a chemical spill on Interstate 55 on February 16. (Photo courtesy of Summit Fire Department)

Chemical spill on I-55 shuts down traffic for hours

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Carol McGowan Chemicals leaking from a semi-trailer truck that was stopped on the right shoulder of Interstate 55 near LaGrange Road in Summit caused the expressway to be shut down in both directions for most of the day last Friday, and caused traffic headaches in the surrounding area. All lanes were closed…

Township of Lyons trustees Donna McDonald (left) and Colleen Kelly discuss an issue at the Jan. 9 board meeting. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Renting copiers pays off for Township of Lyons

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch The Township of Lyons is actually saving money by renting four copiers instead of buying them. At its January meeting, the township board unanimously approved renewing a contract with Proven-IT for four new multi-function copiers. The township has worked with the company for five years, Township Supervisor Christopher Getty said.…

Illinois House Speaker Emanuel "Chris" Welch via Zoom at a recent Village of Stickney board meeting. (Supplied photo)

Speaker Welch joins in on recent Stickney board meeting

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports The Stickney Village Board welcomed Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch to a recent board meeting for a special briefing on the state legislature’s local government priorities for the spring session. Speaking from his Capitol office in Springfield via Zoom, Welch talked about key issues impacting municipalities, emphasizing fiscal stability,…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Girls Basketball | LW Central scrapes by Stagg for Andrew Regional crown

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Randy Whalen Correspondent Stagg was hoping the third time was the charm. For three quarters, it was. But the Chargers couldn’t convert in crunch time and saw Lincoln-Way Central rally for a 36-33 victory in the Class 4A Andrew Regional title game Feb. 16. It was Stagg’s third loss — by a…

Stagg senior Arianna Araujo, who did not qualify as an individual for the IHSA state tournament, nonetheless won the state title on Feb. 17. Photo by Randy Whalen

Girls Bowling State Finals | Stagg’s Arianna Araujo rolls to title

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Randy Whalen Correspondent Prior to the start of the IHSA girls bowling postseason, Stagg senior Arianna Araujo made a statement to her coach. “She told me that she was going to win state,” Chargers coach Rich Kowalczyk said. “I was like, ‘Let’s get through the regional first.’ But she had that much confidence in…