All Hail Greg Abbott, Conqueror of Woke Sanctuary Mayors


May 4, 2023

By Brian Lonergan

One of the more frustrating consequences of the radical Left’s takeover of America’s big cities has been that the elected saboteurs are rarely, if ever, forced to answer for their destructive acts. Who will hold a deranged mayor accountable when the City Council, district attorney, and others all practice the same groupthink? 

On that count, America owes Texas Governor Greg Abbott a debt of gratitude.

Since last summer, Abbott has been showing America the folly of sanctuary policies and the hypocrisy of those who support them. By sending buses of newly arrived illegal aliens to some of America’s major metropolitan centers, Abbott is demonstrating that, when it comes to the ceaseless flow of foreign nationals entering the country illegally, these big city emperors have no clothes. 

If the migrant bus story was a battle, Abbott has emerged as the clear victor. This was seen in departing Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s recent letter to Abbott that amounted to a note of surrender.

“We simply have no more shelters, spaces, or resources to accommodate an increase of individuals at this level, with little coordination or care, that does not pose a risk to them or others,” she wrote. 

Lightfoot’s complaint, with its tone of desperation, stems from the arrival of some 8,000 migrants from Texas. Abbott pounced on Lightfoot in response, asking how Texas border towns are supposed to manage 13,000 illegal aliens per day while Chicago, a city of 2.6 million people with a $16.7 billion annual budget, can’t seem to handle 8,000 in less than a year. 

“This situation is completely untenable,” Lightfoot continued. “The national immigration problem will not be solved by passing on the responsibility to other cities.” 

This is too rich. When Abbott’s buses began arriving last summer, Lightfoot responded by shipping more than 60 aliens out of the city to the nearby suburb of Burr Ridge. Apparently, Lightfoot, who Chicago voters turned out after record levels of crime ravaged the city on her watch, reserves the right to pass responsibility to other cities while attacking others for doing the same.

Whatever one might think of Abbott, he has performed a valuable service in exposing the fraud of sanctuary policies and the snake-oil salesmen who peddle them.

Abbott has been similarly vilified by New York City officials, who have also had to contend with thousands of new “uninvited guests” from the Lone Star State. After boasting of his city’s sanctuary bona fides, New York Mayor Eric Adams has had to strike a delicate balance between welcoming new arrivals for the media and claiming the migrants are bankrupting the city. He wants the Biden Administration to cover the $654 million hole in the city’s budget, allegedly caused by the buses. 

Inserting himself into the Lightfoot-Abbott feud, Adams went to the last refuge of a cornered sanctuary politician: he played the race card. Adams accused Abbott, who is white, of selecting large cities with black mayors as destinations for migrant buses, presumably with a racist motive. 

Oh, please. After the disastrous, ideology-driven mayoralty of leftist Democrat Bill de Blasio, Adams ran for office as a commonsense centrist focused on solving problems. His 20 years with the NYPD was reason to believe he might return the city to law and order after de Blasio’s two lawless, crime-ridden terms. Alas, Adams is captive to the poisonous sanctuary ideology and is willing to make wild accusations in its defense. 

Nobody really believes that Abbott is sending migrants to New York and Chicago out of racial animus. New York City and Chicago are ideal destinations because they are the nation’s largest and third-largest cities, respectively, and they proudly advertise their sanctuary policies. That isn’t racism; that’s the law of unintended consequences and virtue signaling gone wrong.

For years these mayors have enjoyed a sweetheart deal, getting love from their base for their pompous sanctuary rhetoric while having to do very little to earn it. Meanwhile, Texas and other border states have been crushed by a deluge of border crossers seeking the sanctuary fool’s gold that mayors like Adams and Lightfoot promised them.   

Busing aliens to these cities is not a “political stunt,” as White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre recently asserted. It is an act of desperation to draw attention to a problem that the Biden Administration has dramatically worsened and sees no need to fix. 

Whatever one might think of Abbott, he has performed a valuable service in exposing the fraud of sanctuary policies and the snake-oil salesmen who peddle them.

Brian Lonergan is director of communications at the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of illegal migration.

Also published at American Greatness, May 4, 2023.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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