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As more than 8,000 people are transported to Chicago since August 2022, outgoing Chi-town Mayor, Lori Lightfoot, sent a letter to Governor Abbott requesting that he stop sending migrants to the Windy City.

The ongoing border security war between Republicans and Democrats is leaving thousands of migrants right in the middle who have come to the United States for asylum and many frustrated Americans.

With the Biden administration’s inability to land on specific policies that will regulate the number of migrants entering into the country through Mexican border states and Title 42 due to expire, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has been shipping migrants to sanctuary cities across the country. One of those being Chicago, Illinois. 

Lori Lightfoot says Abbott operated without a “lack of consideration”

Citing financial and resource strains, Mayor Lightfoot said, “Chicago is a Welcoming City and we collaborate with County, State, and community partners to rise to this challenge, but your lack of consideration or coordination in an attempt to cause chaos and score political points has resulted in a critical tipping point in our ability to receive individuals and families in a safe, orderly, and dignified way.” 

Gov. Abbott fired back, “call on the Biden Administration to do its job”

He told Mayor Lightfoot: 

As the mayor of a self-declared sanctuary city, it is ironic to hear you complain about Chicago’s struggle to deal with a few thousand illegal immigrants, which is a fraction of the record-high numbers we deal with in Texas on a regular basis. If you truly want to ‘work together to find a real solution’ to this border crisis gripping our nation, you must call on the Biden Administration to do its job by securing our border, repelling the illegal immigrants flooding into our communities, classifying the Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations, and intercepting the deadly fentanyl that is endangering our country.

Meanwhile, Chicago’s elected officials and residents are fed up with the political push and pull and Mayor Lightfoot’s handling of the situation. 

During this crisis, migrants have predominantly been housed in closed schools and shelters in already under-resourced Black and Brown neighborhoods. Alderwoman Jeannette Taylor expressed frustration with being excluded from the decision-making process to house asylum-seekers in a closed elementary school in her ward. 

In an interview, she said, “So literally you [Lightfoot] are making decisions about a building in my community without the person that was elected to represent the people.” She went on to highlight the consistent lack of consideration for residents in low-income communities with, “So that’s been my issue, you don’t impose things on us. You wouldn’t do this in Lincoln Park or Hyde Park.” 

And residents are trying to wrap their heads around having to support another marginalized community as they tackle their own disparities. Woodlawn resident, Jeane Clark, said, “We are struggling right now to make Woodlawn an affordable mixed-income community. While I would love to help immigrants and everybody else, I would like to help my own first.”

With no answer in sight, Chicago’s City Council is grappling with a decision to allocate $53 million of the city’s surplus budget to address this issue while migrants who continue to arrive in the city are now sleeping on floors in city police districts.

Tanesha Peeples is driven by one question in her work--"If not me then who?" As a strategist and injustice interrupter, Tanesha merges the worlds of communications and grassroots activism to push for radical...

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