Illinois Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced he is deploying 75 National Guard members to deal with the influx of migrants being bussed to Chicago from Texas.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has continued to send buses of migrants to Washington, D.C., New York City and Chicago to draw attention to the ongoing immigration crisis.
“The governor of Texas is forcing on New York and D.C. and Chicago – and potentially other places – a needlessly last-minute and complex process that is a heartless display of politics over people,” Pritzker said. “Why not give reasonable notice? Why send these folks only to blue cities or blue states? Why isn’t Abbott sending refugees to Mississippi, Oklahoma or Idaho? This is about politics for him.”
“Here in Illinois, we refuse to stoop to that man’s level,” he added.
Pritzker described the guardsmen as “logistics professionals who will help local governments receive and transport new arrivals,” and said it would be a temporary deployment “while we put in place additional staffing on the ground.”
Pritzker emphasized his work alongside congressional representatives in the state to ensure coordinated action. “I am also pursuing every federal resource available to assist in this response. I’ve personally spoken with members of our congressional delegation who assure this is a top priority for them.
“These are people who are in our country legally. I repeat – they have been screened at the border, they have legal permission to temporarily reside in our country. They are asylum seekers, fleeing oppression or persecution in their own countries,” Pritzker said.
“These are people who have not been accused of doing anything wrong. But upon arrival here there have been some anti-immigrant people who have tried to label these refugees with vicious suspicions about drugs and guns – accusations of which there is literally not a shred of evidence,” the governor claimed. “The arriving families are poor and they are people of color. And that is apparently all some people need to level baseless accusations.”
Pritzker was joined at the podium by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who demanded that federal funds currently allotted to Texas to deal with the ongoing surge of illegal immigrants pouring over the southern border be diverted instead to Chicago, D.C., and other blue cities now receiving small groups of migrants.
Lightfoot went on to accuse Abbott of un-Christian behavior for sending the buses of migrants without forewarning – a system she called “callous” and “inhumane.”
“As a person of faith, I believe we must see God’s presence in all human beings,” Lightfoot said. “That’s what being a good Christian is.”
An estimated 500 migrants have been bused from Texas to Chicago in the past two weeks. Chicago has sent some of those migrants to suburbs like Burr Ridge and Elk Ridge.
Burr Ridge Mayor Gary Grasso, a Republican, told Fox News that the migrants are being used as “political pawns” – Grasso said it’s hypocritical for Lightfoot to be complaining about Abbott sending migrants to Chicago, then turning around and “sending [the migrants] out to the” suburbs.