It wasn't a surprise that Chicago would welcome the migrants bused there by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, but Mayor Lori Lightfoot should have engaged the city's citizens to be prepared, as she knew about their impending arrival for over a week, 15th Ward Alderman Raymond Lopez, who is challenging Lightfoot for her seat, said Friday on Newsmax.
"She used the situation as a political stunt," the Chicago Republican said on Newsmax's "National Report." "We have to recognize this for what it is. It is a failure of the federal government to address the unresolved issues of undocumented and illegal immigration into the United States going back decades."
Wednesday, Lightfoot railed against Abbott for sending the migrants on a 12-hour journey across the country and promised the immigrants arriving in her city would be treated with dignity, reports The Chicago Tribune.
"Instead of treating these individuals with the respect that they deserve or the due process that we require, Gov. Abbott chose instead to inhumanely load them onto buses, send them on a more-than-12-hour journey across a country that they don’t know, and drop them off without any regard for what the next steps are," she said in a news conference. "These are human beings. Moms and dads, young children, and elders who deserve our respect and dignity. They’re not cargo. They are not chattel. They’re human beings."
Emily Bittner, a spokesman for Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, also welcomed the migrants when they arrived and said they will receive "health care screenings, the offer of COVID-19 vaccines and emergency housing, along with additional legal resettlement assistance," The Tribune reported.
Lopez told Newsmax that whether one agrees with what Abbott is doing, the blame must lie with the federal government and its inability to secure the nation's border.
"We can't allow this to continue as it has for nearly 30 years, unchecked and unresolved, where both parties have failed," said Lopez. "Both parties have shown no resolve to try to address this matter that's going to inundate cities like Chicago, inundate states like Texas with issues, that the federal government has the resources and ability to fix."
Further, allowing migrants to enter the county illegally is "not fair to not only those who are citizens but those who have gone through the immigration process in the proper way, trying to get the paperwork, trying to wait their turn."
There are also safety concerns for citizens of Chicago because of immigration, and "we cannot continue to play the political theater and games that we see from Democrats and Republicans," said Lopez.
"When we look at the crime on our streets, you have to start by supporting those who are the line between criminals and the good people of Chicago, and that's our law enforcement, police officers," he added, promising to support them "100% so that we can show consequences for actions in our city."
However, he said Lightfoot "continues to browbeat" and harass police officers, as well as degrade their profession.
"That has a serious psychological impact on their ability not to only do their jobs but live in peace," Lopez said. "We just had another officer commits suicide in the city of Chicago, the fifth officer this year if I'm not mistaken, and I think a lot of that is tied to the stress and burning that we continue to put on them."
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