(The Center Square) – Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker on Wednesday issued an emergency disaster proclamation in response to several hundred foreign nationals being bused to the state from the southern border by Texas’ governor.
Pritzker activated about 75 members of the Illinois National Guard “to ensure all state resources are available to support asylum seekers arriving nearly daily to Chicago from the state of Texas,” the governor’s office said in a news release.
It also “enables the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and other state agencies, in close coordination with the City of Chicago, Cook County, and other local governments, to ensure the individuals and families receive the assistance they need. This includes transport, emergency shelter and housing, food, health screenings, medical assessments, treatments, and other necessary care and services.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott began busing foreign nationals who crossed the border into Texas illegally to Washington D.C. in April, to New York City this summer, and then to Chicago beginning late last month. All three cities are so-called “sanctuary cities” that proclaim to welcome illegal immigrants and not cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers.
“Today, I signed a disaster proclamation allowing the state to speed up the procurement of the immediate resources needed to help Chicago, Cook County, and other jurisdictions provide humanitarian assistance to the asylum seekers who are being sent to our state with no official advance notice by the Governor of Texas,” Pritzker said in a statement. “Let me be clear: while other states may be treating these vulnerable families as pawns, here in Illinois, we are treating them as people.”
Abbott argues the crisis at the southern border was created by President Joe Biden’s open border policies and has called on the mayors of these sanctuary cities to demand that Biden enforce U.S. immigration law.
Border officials have seen more than 4 million encounters with foreign nationals attempting to cross the southern border since Biden first took office. Texas has had to deal with the majority of them. The administration has released hundreds of thousands of them into Texas and other border state communities.
Abbott also called Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot “hypocrites” for criticizing over the busing initiative when they then bused hundreds of migrants to suburban communities with no notice to those town’s mayors.
Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser last week also declared a public emergency over the situation.