Over 70 migrants arrive to Chicago sent by Texas governor


Joel Martinez/The Monitor via AP

Texas Governor Greg Abbott answers questions during a press conference at the Texas Department of Public Safety Weslaco Regional Office on Wednesday, April 6, 2022, in Weslaco, Texas.

Over 70 Venezuelan migrants arrived at Chicago’s Union Station Wednesday night as a part of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s plan to send undocumented immigrants to Democratic ‘sanctuary’ cities. 

The first bus ‘shipment’ of migrants follows Abbott’s calling out both President Biden’s border protection efforts and Mayor Lightfoot’s promises to make Chicago a safe haven for undocumented immigrants during his Wednesday announcement. 

Abbott has criticized the Biden administration’s attempt to lift Title 42, a federal act which authorizes denying asylum seekers in the U.S. during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“Biden’s inaction at our border puts Texans at risk andis overwhelming our communities”, Abbott said in a Tweet last night. 

Abbott stated that cities like Chicago, New York City, and Washington D.C. will become destinations for migrants crossing the United States border through Texas.

For weeks, rumors have surrounded Abbott’s “Operation Lone Star” border security initiative, suggesting migrants would arrive at the Texas border and be sent to Chicago.\

Lightfoot said in a news release, “Chicago is a welcoming city [and] will do everything we can” to support the migrants. 

“We know that racism, discrimination and human cruelty have played a pivotal role in how immigrants are received within our borders, and we are still working to recover from the previous presidential administration, which encouraged this behavior”, Lightfoot said in a news release. 

The Sun-Times reported migrants were taken to shelters after being dropped off at Union Station. The migrants, most from Venezuela, traveled 30 to 40 days to reach Texas before arriving in the United States.

According to NBC Chicago, migrants were brought to the Salvation Army Freedom Center in Humboldt Park Wednesday where they were fed, able to shower, and sleep before being relocated by Lightfoot’s administration.

Members from The Resurrection Project, a nonprofit organization providing  services to stabilize and protect families, have also been helping receive the migrants. 

Chicago’s Welcoming City Ordinance states officials will not ask about immigration status nor will services be denied to people based on immigration status. 

Connect with Jacqueline Cardenas: @jackiecardenas_ | [email protected]