September 15, 2022
By Brian Lonergan
“He is manufacturing a human crisis and it makes no sense to me.”
That comment was not made by a random American citizen about Joe Biden’s disastrous border policies. It was spoken, with excessive chutzpah, rather, by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who intended it as an attack on Greg Abbott. The Texas Governor dared to send a few busloads of illegal immigrants to the Windy City. Lightfoot has supplanted even New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ ham-handed treatment of the migrant bussing story with her ineptitude, cruelty and hypocrisy. She is the nation’s greatest example of a “sanctuary mayor.”
Though initially derided by critics as a cheap political stunt, Abbott’s decision to bus illegal aliens in his state to New York City, Washington, D.C., and Chicago has proven to be an act of Machiavellian genius. In addition bringing renewed national attention to the border crisis, the move has exposed sanctuary mayors in all their fecklessness and convictionless glory. In the process, it has also blown the lid off sanctuary policies as a menace to communities.
Chicago is a metropolis with over 2.7 million people and an annual city budget of $16.7 billion. Yet the mayor of this proud sanctuary city is outraged when two—two!—buses of illegal aliens arrive? Given the talking points we have been told like “diversity is our strength” and “immigrants make communities stronger,” one would expect Lightfoot, Adams, and Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser to be competing for the honor of receiving the most illegals. Instead, they are declaring public emergencies and attacking the man who was nice enough to provide them more community strength.
After excoriating Abbott for allegedly using the illegal aliens on buses as political pawns, Lightfoot re-affirmed that Chicago is a welcoming city and vowed to “step up and do the right thing to make sure that migrants coming into our city are well received, that they’re supported.” Then, in an act of shameless hypocrisy shocking even by today’s meager standards, Lightfoot proceeded to ship more than 60 of the same aliens out of the city to the nearby suburb of Burr Ridge.
Lightfoot’s chicanery comes as no surprise. It is far easier to distract her constituents with the alien bussing story than to address more pressing concerns, like the pervasive murders and robberies that have become the new normal in Chicago on her watch.
The sanctuary mayors’ predicament has resulted in widespread schadenfreude, especially on the part of those in Texas who experience the daily toll of the border crisis.
“‘Welcome to our world’ is what they say,” Jonathan Thompson, executive director and CEO of the National Sheriffs’ Association told Fox News Digital. “Welcome to the everyday problems we are facing, and you have been ignoring and that you continue to want to blame someone else for.”
While opponents have accused Abbott of political motives for sending aliens to sanctuary cities, the problem on the ground in Texas is increasingly crossing partisan lines. The city of El Paso is so overwhelmed with aliens that the Democrat-led city government recently chartered a bus to send 35 citizens of Venezuela here illegally to New York City.
Abbott’s bussing initiative has shown how the sanctuary philosophy embraced by big-city mayors creates a vicious circle of crime and squalor. Promoting sanctuary policies attracts more illegal aliens, in many cases those who have previously committed felonies. Soft-on-crime district attorneys commit resources to reduce “immigration consequences” for noncitizen defendants. Woke sheriffs rescind agreements to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which allows violent alien offenders to be released back into communities rather than face deportation.
The result is a community where the city’s residents, including those here legally and illegally, live in fear so that elitist politicians can grandstand about their superior level of compassion.
Chicago—currently America’s third most dangerous sanctuary city—does not have the luxury to virtue-signal about welcoming illegal aliens when it is awash in crime, underperforming schools, budget shortfalls and numerous other ills.
If Lightfoot is truly committed to her city’s sanctuary status, then she should welcome Abbott’s arrivals without complaint. If not, then admit the sanctuary experiment is a colossal failure and choose a wiser path. She and many other sanctuary mayors have benefited from their sanctuary hypocrisy for too long. Thanks in part to Abbott’s buses, that time has come to an end.
Brian Lonergan is and 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 mass migration.
Also published at American Greatness, September 15, 2022.
Photo credit: Chicago Mayor’s Office
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