Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is urging Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to stop sending migrants to Chicago due to incoming winter storms, an appeal that drew pushback from the Lone Star State.
“While action is pending at the federal level, I plead with you for mercy for the thousands of people who are powerless to speak for themselves,” Pritzker said in a letter, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “Please, while winter is threatening vulnerable people’s lives, suspend your transports and do not send more people to our state.”
Temperatures are due to plunge in the coming days in the city, and Pritzker claimed that the buses and planes transporting migrants to Chicago during such conditions are “now life-threatening to every one of the arrivals.”
“Hundreds of children’s and families’ health and survival are at risk due to your actions,” he said, according to the Sun-Times.
Abbott has sent over 30,000 migrants to Chicago since the middle of 2022, as part of a project to relieve overwhelmed border towns by sending migrants to “sanctuary” cities that also include Washington D.C., New York City and others.
The numbers seen by those cities are a fraction of the millions of migrants that have hit the southern border. Abbott says he has bused over 100,000 migrants to the cities. There were 2.4 million migrant encounters in FY 23 alone and over 302,000 in December.
Chicago and other cities have appealed for help from the federal government, including billions in financial aid. Chicago has also placed restrictions on when and where buses may drop off migrants.
In a statement to Fox News Digital, Abbott spokesperson Andrew Mahaleris noted that Pritzker had previously called Illinois “the most welcoming state in the nation.”
“Instead of complaining about migrants sent from Texas, where we are also preparing to experience severe winter weather across the state, Governor Pritzker should call on his party leader to finally do his job and secure the border — something he continues refusing to do,” Mahaleris said.
“Until President Biden steps up and does his job to secure the border, Texas will continue transporting migrants to sanctuary cities to help our local partners respond to this Biden-made crisis,” he said.
Meanwhile, Abbott has also been battling with the federal government over moves it has taken to secure the southern border by itself, including the seizure of a park near the Rio Grande River this week.