Self-declared sanctuary cities such as Philadelphia have begun evaluating their state of preparedness should migrants begin arriving, especially en masse in buses from Texas or Arizona.
A spokesman for Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney explained that “The city is inventorying existing resources should those seeking safe refuge find their way to Philadelphia.”
For the time being, however, Texas has no plans to send buses to the City of Brotherly Love. When asked if Governor Greg Abbott had any intention of sending processed migrants to Philadelphia, spokesman for the governor Sheridan Nolan told The Dallas Express, “We’re still only busing to DC, NYC, [and] Chicago.”
The governor’s office noted that since the beginning of Operation Lone Star, a multi-agency effort, there have been “more than 302,600 migrant apprehensions and more than 19,700 criminal arrests, with more than 17,200 felony charges reported,” while the Texas Department of Public Safety “has seized over 340.5 million lethal doses of fentanyl.”
Texas has transported over 7,900 migrants to Washington, D.C., 2,200 to New York City, and 300 to Chicago. These numbers pale when compared to the sum of people crossing the Southern border, with nearly 200,000 unlawful migrant encounters reported in July alone.
In response to the influx of unlawful migrants, Washington, D.C. declared a state of emergency and instituted an Office of Migrant Services on September 8.
D.C. Councilmember Brianne Nadeau condemned both Governor Abbott and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, saying, “…[T]he governors of Texas and Arizona have created this crisis. And, the federal government has not stepped up to assist the District of Columbia.”
Nadeau continued, “We’ve learned from border towns, like El Paso and Brownsville. And, in many ways, the governors of Texas and Arizona have turned us into a border town.”
Reacting to the council member’s statement, Renae Eze, another spokesperson for Governor Abbott, told The Dallas Express, “Every town is a border town thanks to President Biden’s open border policies.”
She continued, “Instead of complaining about a few thousand migrants being bused into their sanctuary city, these hypocritical D.C. officials should go down the street to the White House and call on President Biden to do his job to secure the border — something the President continues failing to do.”
Chicago has also struggled with the several hundred migrants that have arrived, as reported by The Dallas Express. The mayor of Elk Grove Village, Craig Johnson, has criticized Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot for subsequently busing the migrants from her city out to the nearby suburb.
Johnson rebuked Lightfoot, saying, “She wants to probably say politically: ‘I’m a sanctuary city. I welcome you with open arms.’ But when reality checks, if five bus loads [show] up in her city, she can’t handle it.”