Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) on Saturday called Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) busing of migrants to the city “un-American.”
“You don’t treat people with this lack of respect, lack of dignity, putting them on buses to an unknown destination with very little food, very little water,” Lightfoot said during an appearance on “CNN Newsroom with Pamela Brown.”
“They have very little that they need when they’re on these multiple-hour, cross-country bus trips,” she said.
Abbott’s office said on Friday the state has bused more than 10,400 migrants since April to Democratic-run cities in protest of President Biden’s immigration policies.
About three-quarters have been sent to Washington, D.C., while more than 2,200 arrived in New York City since last month. The first bus sent to Chicago arrived on Wednesday, and Abbott said more than 300 migrants have arrived in the city so far.
“What I don’t like to see is people taking these cross-country trips, getting off the bus and being immediately taken to the hospital because they were put on the buses with delicate medical conditions that no one in Texas seemed to care anything about,” Lightfoot said on CNN. “That is simply not right, and it’s un-American.”
When asked if she would be OK with Abbott’s initiative if the migrants were better taken care of, Lightfoot still indicated opposition, calling it a “unilateral political stunt.”
“What he’s trying to do is play to the lowest common denominator in his party, to burnish his credentials as a candidate for president in 2024,” Lightfoot said.
Lightfoot said she had not spoken with Abbott but had connected with New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D), both of whom have similarly condemned the busing.
Renae Eze, Abbott’s press secretary, who responded to a request for comment in a Tuesday email, called Lightfoot’s comments a “pathetic political ploy.”
“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,” Eze said.
Both Adams and Bowser have asked the federal government for assistance. The Defense Department has denied Bowser’s request to activate the D.C. National Guard twice.
“This is a manufactured crisis on the part of Governor Abbott,” Lightfoot said on CNN. “We can all do our part. And I believe that we all must do our part. But we’ve got to do it with collaboration, with cooperation.”
This story was updated at 1:14 p.m.