The transporting of migrants from the Southwest to cities led by Democrats — some have been dropped off at Vice President Kamala Harris’ residence in Washington — has become a hot button issue, particularly when migrants arrive in communities that have not had prior warnings about when they would arrive. New York Mayor Eric Adams has been particularly outspoken about the hardships his city is facing, though he has also been sharply critical of President Joe Biden for not dealing with the situation at the border.
Officials in border states have blamed the Biden administration for the influx of migrants and said they are trying to distribute the burden of having to accommodate these migrants. In discussing sending migrants to Washington in 2022, Abbott said: “We are sending them to the United States capital, where the Biden administration will be able to more immediately address the needs of the people that they are allowing to come across our border.”
Abbott’s press office did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Lightfoot’s note.
In her letter, Lightfoot complained that some migrants have arrived “in dire need of food, water, and clothing” and echoed criticism that these migrants are being used as political pawns.
“I know by your actions that you either do not see or do not care about the trauma these migrants have already faced and continue to suffer under the humanitarian crisis you have created,” she wrote. “But I beseech you anyway: treat these individuals with the respect and dignity that they deserve.”
Lightfoot recently lost her bid for a second term, finishing third in the election Feb. 28 out of nine declared candidates. Cook County Board Commissioner Brandon Johnson, who subsequently defeated Paul Vallas in a runoff, is to be sworn in as mayor May 15.