It hit me while reading a story about protests in Chicago over a new shelter being readied for migrants: people are rightly outraged, but who should they be angry with?
A meeting of the Joliet Township board outside of Chicago degenerated into chaos when the topic of migrant shelters was discussed.
“A lack of federal leadership on this issue has resulted in asylum-seekers reaching our borders, being bused by the thousands to cities for a political stunt to create chaos and attention,” Township Supervisor Angel Contreras said to shouts from the audience.
Is that true? Not even close.
Nearly 3 million illegal aliens and asylum seekers sought entry into the United States in FY 2023. While a significant portion of those new arrivals were turned back and forced to wait in Mexico or elsewhere — around 50% — many of the remaining migrants were able to enter the United States to await the outcome of their court cases — four or five years from now.
Along the Mexican border with Texas, towns small and large were swamped with human beings. These people had no food, no shelter, and no means to support themselves.
Private charities tried their best to help with the crush of people. The state of Texas contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to assist local governments with caring for the migrants.
But it’s not really a question of money. The problem is finding space for the newcomers at the border. The infrastructure to shelter and feed the hundreds of thousands of migrants doesn’t exist.
Meanwhile, Joe Biden was studiously ignoring the problem. There was a crisis and Joe Biden was not only AWOL but fast asleep. To make matters even more maddening, big city Democratic mayors continued to tout their city’s “welcoming” posture and criticized Texas for their “inhumane” treatment of asylum seekers.
So Texas Gov. Greg Abbott felt he had no other choice but to help the Democratic big city mayors find their “come to Jesus” moment by busing the migrants from Texas to New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Boston, Denver, and Los Angeles.
Needless to say, it worked.
Intent on highlighting the large number of people crossing the border in recent years, which he blames on the Biden administration’s immigration policies, Mr. Abbott devised a plan to approach migrants after they had been processed by the border authorities and offer them free rides on chartered buses.
“I’m going to take the border to President Biden,” he said at a news conference after introducing his plan in April 2022.
Many migrants have been grateful for the free transportation, because they often have little money left by the time they complete a monthslong trek to the U.S.-Mexico border.
So it turns out that the “Sanctuary Cities” aren’t very welcoming at all. Who’da thunk it?
The first to start squealing was New York City Mayor Eric Adams. While Texas was dealing with hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers and illegal aliens, Adams held a pity party when the number of migrants hit about 15,000. “When you look at the price tag, $30 million comes nowhere near what the city is paying for a national problem,” he told “Face the Nation” last May. How much is Texas paying for a “national problem?”
The Times reports that “New York alone has received more than 100,000 migrants in the last year; only 13,100 were sent on buses provided by the state of Texas.”
But it’s Chicago that appears to have been the least prepared of all the major cities run by Democrats to handle the crush.
Thousands of migrants in Chicago — many of whom have been bused there from Texas — are waiting for a spot in one of the city’s overcrowded shelters. Last week, as many as 14 buses arrived in a single day, according to city officials.
Denver has been forced to cut the time some are allowed to stay in shelters due to the increased pace of arrivals, and school teachers are juggling an influx of English language learners, Axios Denver reported.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams recently traveled to Latin America to discourage migrants from going to New York.
Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson announced he and his team plan to visit the border and talk about the city’s challenges and “the forecasting of a brutal winter,” Axios Chicago reported.
Spouting nonsense that Greg Abbott and the state of Texas are responsible for the migrant crisis in Northern cities is a talking point — nothing else. If Mayors Adams, Johnson, et. al. want to blame someone, they have the phone number to the White House. The vast majority of illegal aliens, asylum seekers, and border crossers are not being sent by Gov. Abbott. They are arriving courtesy of the sanctuary city mayors’ party leader, Joe Biden, who can’t afford politically to acknowledge there’s a crisis at the border.