AUSTIN, Texas — As Texas continues to send migrants to cities across the country in response to what politicians are calling a humanitarian crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border, Gov. Greg Abbott and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot continue to go toe-to-toe over the plan.
Abbott recently added Chicago to the list of cities that are drop-off points for migrants from the border. Texas has also been sending migrants to Washington D.C. and New York City.
A busload of about 50 immigrants arrived Sunday in Chicago, days after the arrival of the first busload of about 75.
Since April, when Abbott announced the state's plan, about 8,000 to 9,000 migrants have been sent out of Texas. Abbott's office said migrants are only being sent with their written permission.
Lightfoot recently issued a statement expressing frustration with the plan.
"My frustration comes from the actions of the Governor of Texas. There could be a level of coordination and cooperation, but 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 and what the circumstances are here on the ground," Lightfoot said.
She said her office hasn't heard anything from the state as far as collaboration goes.
"We have yet to hear from anybody in an official capacity from Texas. That's unacceptable," Lightfoot said in a statement. "I think the decent, human thing to do is to cooperate and collaborate. Do the right thing and collaborate and cooperate instead of us having to guess, are they coming, are they not coming, how many, what are their needs?"
Abbott's office responded: “Attacking the Governor’s commitment to his faith is a pathetic political ploy to change the conversation away from Mayor Lightfoot’s unwillingness to uphold her city’s self-declared sanctuary status."
Abbott's statement went on to claim President Joe Biden himself sent migrants across the country and dropped them off in communities in the middle of the night.
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"Where was Mayor Lightfoot’s outrage and condemnation of President Biden as he flew planeloads of migrants across the country and dropped them in communities in the cover of night?" the statement said.
According to PolitiFact, the process of flying migrants across the country has been practiced for years. Sometimes they are flown in the middle of the night to "protect the confidentiality of those being transported and to guard against anyone who would interfere with the flights." Also, "sometimes the federal government tries to save money by arranging for flights that land late in the evening," according to the Washington Post's Fact Checker.
"The Biden administration, like the Obama and Trump administrations, uses flights to move adult detainees from one detention facility to another in order to avoid overcrowding," according to PolitiFact.
Lightfoot claimed that Abbott has no "interest whatsoever in providing any kind of support for people who are coming to Texas" and also went on to say Abbott is "manufacturing a human crisis."
Abbott's office said Lightfoot's problems should be with Biden, not the Texas governor.
"Instead of lowly personal attacks on the Governor and complaining about a few dozen migrants being bused into her sanctuary city, Mayor Lightfoot should call on President Biden to take immediate action to secure the border - something the President continues failing to do,” the statement said.