Outgoing Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has sent a stern letter to Texas Governor Greg Abbott, demanding he stop sending buses of migrants to the Windy City.
Lightfoot claims Abbott's actions are politically motivated, and that the city is already struggling to care for the more than 8,000 migrants who have been sent there since August. She says the individuals have been in dire need of food, water and clothing, and many have required extensive medical care.
Lightfoot also alleged that Abbott had no regard for the migrants' personal circumstances, and that some were victims of sexual assault and even women in active labor. She said the city lacks the necessary shelters and resources to accommodate further migrant relocation, and that Abbott is only attempting to "cause chaos and score political points" with his actions.
The Democratic mayor also said she is sympathetic to the challenges facing border towns in Texas, but that passing the responsibility to other cities will not resolve the issue. She has called on the federal government to provide more resources and support to address the influx of migrants, and to make policy changes to the U.S. immigration system.
Lightfoot has also threatened to withhold all FEMA funding for Texas if Abbott continues to send buses of migrants to Chicago, but said she "would rather work with him than against him."
The controversy has prompted other Democratic mayors across the country, including New York City's Eric Adams, to speak out against Abbott's actions. Adams said in a recent radio interview that it is "unfair for local governments to have to take on this national obligation." Colorado Governor Jared Polis, D, has also sent migrants from his state to sanctuary cities in recent months.
Abbott has defended his actions, saying it is a response to the influx of migrant crossings at the southern border and that the relocations will continue until the federal government secures the border.
The governor's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Lightfoot's letter.