Texas sent its first flight of migrants to Chicago on Tuesday as the border state continues to place pressure on President Joe Biden’s administration to secure the southern border.
Sources inside the governor’s office told Fox News the first migrant flight departed from El Paso on Tuesday afternoon and arrived with 120 migrants on board at the O’Hare Airport in Chicago. All of the migrants reportedly signed voluntary waivers for the transportation.
According to Fox News, the move comes as Chicago has launched multiple lawsuits against bus companies that have been transporting migrants from Texas to the sanctuary city over the past year. Fox News also reported that the new transportation method being used by Texas represents an escalation of Abbott’s strategy since April 2022 to transport migrants to sanctuary cities across the United States.
The governor’s office told Fox News this week that Texas has transported 82,900 migrants to cities across the United States, which are overwhelmingly led by Democrats with “sanctuary” policies. According to Fox News, the cities include New York City, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.
Sharing a video of the first migrant airplane being sent from Texas to Chicago on X, formerly Twitter, Abbott wrote, “Sanctuary city Chicago started obstructing and targeting our busing mission. Texas will now expand our operation to include flights to Chicago. Until Biden steps up to secure the border, we will continue to provide overwhelmed Texas border towns with much-needed relief.”
While Abbott’s handling of the southern border crisis has been applauded by conservatives across the country, Fox News reported that the governor’s critics have repeatedly claimed that transporting migrants to blue states and sanctuary cities is merely an “illegal” political move.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson have both strongly opposed Abbott’s actions. Earlier this week, Johnson blamed Abbott for adding to the current migrant crisis in Chicago.
“The issue is not just how we respond in the city of Chicago,” Johnson said. “It’s the fact we have a governor, a governor, an elected official in the state of Texas, that is placing families on buses without shoes, cold, wet, tired, hungry, afraid, traumatized, and then they come to the city of Chicago, where we have homelessness, mental health clinics that have been shut down and closed. We have people who are seeking employment. The governor of Texas needs to take a look in the mirror, with the chaos he’s causing for the people of this country.”
Responding to the criticism, Andrew Mahaleris, Abbott’s press secretary, told Fox News Digital that Chicago’s mayor was “flat out lying.”
“If he truly cared about these migrants, he would stop spreading falsehoods and complaining about a few thousand migrants being bussed into his sanctuary city,” Mahaleris said. “Instead, Mayor Johnson should call on President Biden to take immediate action to secure the border — something the president continues failing to do.”