Washington DC’s Mayor Muriel Bowser along with her counterparts in Chicago and New York has a problem and his name is Greg Abbott.
Texas has been overwhelmed as U.S. border officials release as many as 100,000 illegal migrants a month into the states that border Mexico. Early this summer Mr. Abbott began to bus not all but a small percentage of President Joe Biden’s illegal immigration wave to self-declared “sanctuary cities” like Chicago, New York and Washington, DC. These cities and the progressives who run them have declared they welcome “migrants,” legal or “undocumented” and refuse to cooperate with federal immigration officials. They, however, seem less enthusiastic when faced with the arrival of the “migrants” they have vowed to protect.
These cities have not walked a mile in the shoes of Americans near the nation’s southern border. Talk is cheap; it played well politically with other progressives with money and votes.
Outraged by the Biden administration’s refusal to deal with the flood of illegals flooding his state, Mr. Abbott earlier this year tasked Texas law enforcement and National Guard to uphold the law Mr. Biden would not. Texans were willing to pay a second time for the security that the Federales would not provide. By late summer, some 300,000 illegals were apprehended as part of what Mr. Abbott dubbed ”Operation Lone Star.” Many were sent back to where they came from, 17,000 were arrested on felony charges and some 335 million doses of fentanyl were seized from drug smuggling “migrants.”
To demonstrate the severity of the problem, Mr. Abbott announced that Texas would charter buses to transfer some of these “migrants” to more welcoming locales… like Chicago, New York, and Washington. He hoped this would dramatize the problems faced by Texas and other border state and put pressure on the Biden Administration to take steps to stem the tide of immigrants flooding these states.
Since then, some seven or eight thousand illegals have disembarked at Union Station downtown Washington and sent D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on a rampage. She began by attacking Mr. Abbott for failing to coordinate with her while nevertheless assuring everyone the city would welcome and could handle the new arrivals. The total of those bussed to Washington represents something like 7% of those Texas has to deal with every month, but Ms. Bowser immediately demanded more federal money to offset her costs. Since then, she’s continually demanded more money and asked the Pentagon to provide troops to help her manage the “crisis” and declared a “public health emergency” because of the influx.
Biden administration officials pointedly refuse to use the word “crisis” in connection with the flood of migrants crossing the border and denied Ms. Bowser’s request for money or troops. Perhaps the precedent of giving extra money to Washington would generate additional demands from the hundreds of cities and towns in Texas and around the country grappling with similar problems.
Chicago began receiving Operation Lone Star busses just a few weeks ago, but the mayor of our third largest city, Lori Lightfoot, always given to hyperbole, denounced Mr. Abbott as a racist monster totally lacking in “Christian values” and accused him of being “unpatriotic” to boot. She complained that the migrants were being mistreated by being shuttled off to her city without preparing her and her minions to receive them but had to abandon that complaint when Chicagoans learned that “welcomed” migrants are being loaded onto city-owned buses and dumped in Republican-run suburban localities in the dead of night.
And then there’s New York City’s Eric Adams who, echoing Ms. Lightfoot, denounced Mr. Abbott as “anti-American” and sent a “fact-finding mission” to Texas to learn just how the Texas governor was justifying the “horrific” shipping of illegals to his sanctuary city. Oh, like Ms. Bowser and Ms. Lightfoot, Mr. Adams also demanded that the feds pony up cash so that New York could be as welcoming as he’d promised.
The good mayor didn’t accompany his factfinders to Texas, but Mr. Abbott invited Mr. Adams to come see for himself just what a mess the Biden Administration has made of the border. Mr. Adams declined, announcing that he is contemplating sending a few busloads of New Yorkers down for a different reason …to campaign against Mr. Abbott.
Mr. Abbott should be so lucky. A recent Dallas Daily News poll showed that 51% of Texas voters approve of their governor’s border policies, while only 34% support Biden’s approach. No wonder Mr. Abbott’s reaction to Mr. Adam’s threat came so quickly. “Bring ‘em on,” he said.
• David Keene is editor-at-large at The Washington Times.
Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC.
Please read our comment policy before commenting.