As more buses of migrants continue to arrive in Chicago from the state of Texas, Illinois officials say that a lack of cooperation from their counterparts in the Lone Star State has made a challenging process even more difficult.
More buses of migrants arrived in the city on Saturday, part of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s ongoing policy to send border-crossers to so-called “sanctuary cities,” which include New York, Washington, D.C. and Chicago.
Abbott says that the policy was put in place to ease the burden on Texas taxpayers, but the actions have sparked strong reaction from officials in Illinois in recent days.
“The lack of information and cooperation from the state of Texas has made it incredibly challenging, however, we remain fully committed to assisting each individual, providing human services and connecting them with family and friends while here in the city of Chicago, Cook County and across Illinois during this transition,” officials said in a statement.
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Officials called the situation “rapidly-evolving,” but also emphasized that the city is coordinating with county, state and federal agencies.
Approximately 364 migrants and asylum-seekers have arrived in Chicago thus far, according to estimates provided by Chicago officials.
As those officials have scrambled to provide housing arrangements, hotels in suburban Elk Grove Village and Burr Ridge have been tapped for that purpose, with officials criticizing Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration for a lack of communication during the process.
“As we sit here today, right now, I have not gotten an official word from the city, from the state or Cook County,” Burr Ridge Mayor Gary Grasso said Thursday. “Neither village elected officials nor staff were consulted or contacted about this decision, and we are now gathering information to keep our community updated.”
While Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson said that his community also received “no advanced notice,” he did say that officials have been satisfied with the answers they have received from both Chicago officials and the federal government.
“While the village is now well-informed about what is taking place, I cannot tell you how disappointing it is to see the haphazard way in which this has been handled by county, state and city of Chicago officials,” he said.
Wednesday night saw the first busload of migrants arrive in Chicago, with Lightfoot simultaneously saying that the city would embrace the challenge, while blasting Abbott’s policies.
“This is about a cheap political point. It’s not about sharing the load,” she said. “To Greg Abbott and his enablers in Texas: with these continued political stunts, (he) has confirmed what many of us havd already known: he’s a man without any morals, humanity or shame.”