The massive influx of illegal immigrants and asylum seekers across the southern borders has put several democratically-ruled states under severe stress of finding the finances to maintain them as several struggling Democratic mayors in cities warned the states reached their full capacity to absorb them while pleading to the federal government for assistance.
Mayors Brandon Johnson of Chicago, Eric Adams of New York and Mike Johnston of Denver held a virtual news conference on Wednesday night asking for increased coordination with Texas as the state continues to send busloads of immigrants to Democratic-led cities, media reports said.
The Mayors blasted Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who began bussing immigrants to Chicago, Denver, New York, Philadelphia, Washington and other areas as early as April 2022 and which was still continuing.
“We cannot allow buses with people needing our help to arrive without warning at any hour of day and night,” Adams said during the conference.
“This not only prevents us from providing assistance in an orderly way, it puts those who have already suffered so much in danger.”
As more asylum-seekers continue to arrive by bus in the Chicago suburbs, Johnson warned that the Mayors are running out of housing options and resources.
“All of our cities have reached a point where we are either close to capacity or nearly out of room,” Johnson said.
More than 26,000 immigrants have arrived in the Windy City since August 2022. Chicago continues to accept buses of immigrants but has restricted arrivals with specific timings on when and where arrivals can take place.
Buses must drop off during approved weekday hours, and city officials designated a specific migrant drop-off zone in Chicago’s West Loop, with arrivals limited to two per hour. The city is suing bus companies and approved penalties on December 13 to impound buses and fine owners $3,000 if they do not follow Chicago’s rules limiting the time and frequency of arrivals, the Washington Examiner reported.
Since Chicago began enforcing penalties, city officials said bus drivers begin to head into the suburbs and drop immigrants at unauthorised places to work around the restrictions. Buses dropped off at a Naperville Metra transit station and sent immigrants into Chicago via train.
“The lack of care that has been on display for the last year-and-a-half has created an incredible amount of chaos,” Johnson said.
Adams said New York plans to place similar restrictions on buses unloading immigrants into the city. He announced an executive order on Wednesday requesting that buses only arrive between 8:30 a.m. and noon on weekdays at a single drop-off site. If not, the bus companies face fines or impounding, as well as lawsuits.
More than 161,000 immigrants have poured into New York seeking help since spring 2022, including 4,000 just last week, Adams and other officials said earlier this week.
Denver, which has received more than 35,000 immigrants over the last year, also has weekday drop-offs limited to specified hours. The Mayors pointed to the hundreds of millions of dollars being spent on immigrant housing, transportation, medical care and other forms of assistance.
“It will crush city budgets around the country,” Johnston warned.
Abbott’s administration has previously warned that it will continue taking “historic action” by busing immigrants to Democratic-controlled cities until President Joe Biden’s administration secures the southern border.
(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline.)