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Lightfoot, New York mayor Letter demanding Colorado governor stop busing migrants to Chicago, New York – NBC Chicago

Lightfoot, New York mayor Letter demanding Colorado governor stop busing migrants to Chicago, New York – NBC Chicago

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More than three months since the first busload of asylum-seeking migrants arrived in Chicago, Mayor Laurie Lightfoot and New York City Mayor Eric Adams wrote a letter to Colorado Democratic Gov. Jared Polis demanding the state stop busing migrants to Chicago and New York.

The first bus with migrants arrived from Texas on August 31st, with dozens more buses arriving in Chicago since then. The busing began as part of Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s controversial “Operation Lone Star,” which sent migrants to Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C.

Also, Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis carried migrants seeking asylum to Martha’s Vineyard this fall, an island part of Massachusetts that is best known as a summer colony.

The letter from Lightfoot and Adams reads in part:

“It is clear that the influx of asylum seekers is causing consternation among countries. While we share concerns about meeting the influx of asylum seekers, overcrowding other cities is not the answer. We respectfully request that you cease and desist from sending migrants to New York and Chicago. As of December 2022, Chicago and New York have hosted hundreds of people from Colorado. Before the first bus arrived in any of our cities, we informed a Colorado official directly that neither city had the additional space to accommodate more migrants due to the thousands of migrants who had already been inhumanely bused to our respective cities from Texas from spring 2022.”

As of the last update provided by city officials on December 20, 2022, 3,854 migrants seeking asylum had arrived in Chicago from Texas. In the full letter, Lightfoot said more migrants arrived in the city in other ways, including buses from Colorado.

The letter from Lightfoot and Adams comes days after President Biden announced tighter border restrictions, with Cuban, Haitian and Nicaraguan migrants beginning to be immediately turned around on the southern border.

In the past nine months, more than 36,400 migrants have been processed through New York’s emergency intake system, adding that more are staying with family, friends and other networks, Adams said in the letter.

Adams adds that New York is expected to spend $1 billion in fiscal year 2023 in costs to deal with the asylum crisis, with costs expected to rise as the system is further strained.

The letter acknowledged the status of New York and Chicago as sanctuary cities, while criticizing Polis for not taking decisive action to help migrants arriving in Colorado.

“Our understanding is that Colorado claims to be a welcoming state. At least as far as we are concerned, whether it is a welcoming state or a welcoming city, leaders must ensure that these values ​​are lived out in good times and especially in challenging times. is what we did, and we urge you as governor of Colorado to do the same. We know it is difficult because we have been facing these challenges for the past nine months. Colorado needs to reconsider its decision to send people who are sheltered and receiving services from Denver-based community organizations out of state and especially to cities like ours.

We have seen your statements in the media that you are simply going along with the wishes of migrants to come to cities like New York and Chicago. Both our cities are working tirelessly to ensure that migrants can reach their desired destinations, where they are reunited with their loved ones. However, you are sending migrants and families to New York and Chicago who have no connections, family members, or community networks to welcome them, at a time when both cities are at capacity in shelter space and available services. “

The letter then claimed that some of the migrants sent to New York and Chicago had been in Colorado for weeks, some of whom had made connections by this point.

“The City of Denver is known nationally for providing some of the best services for homeless populations – setting best practices across the country – it is unusual to deny newcomers access to these resources. In fact, many new arrivals from Colorado have been under your care for weeks, receiving favors and establishing relationships only to be uprooted with a promise that host cities cannot keep.”

Lightfoot and Adams then asked Polis to work with them to pressure the federal government to adopt a solution to the growing crisis, which the letter called “fabricated”, alluding to Abbott’s policy, which has been in place for nine months.

“Let’s work together to advocate to the federal government for a national solution that meets this need.” New York and Chicago have always been cities of immigrants. As we all struggle with an imaginary humanitarian crisis, we must all come together to tackle this national problem and we look forward to working together to meet this challenge.”

You can read the full text of the letter below:

Dear Governor Polis:

It is clear that the influx of asylum seekers is causing consternation among countries. While we share concerns about meeting the influx of asylum seekers, overcrowding other cities is not the answer. We respectfully request that you cease and desist from sending migrants to New York and Chicago. As of December 2022, Chicago and New York have hosted hundreds of people from Colorado. Before the first bus arrived in any of our cities, we informed a Colorado official directly that neither city had the additional space to accommodate more migrants due to the thousands of migrants who had already been inhumanely bused to our respective cities from Texas from spring 2022

Despite this information, you bused migrants to our cities. The buses arrived, with no regard for either city’s ability to accommodate them adequately.

It is our understanding that Colorado claims to be a welcoming state. At least as far as we are concerned, whether it is a welcoming country or a welcoming city, leaders must ensure that these values ​​are lived in good times and especially in challenging times. That’s what we did, and we urge you as governor of Colorado to do the same. We know it is difficult because we have been facing these challenges for the past nine months. Colorado needs to reconsider its decision to send people who are sheltered and receiving services from Denver-based community organizations out of state, and especially to cities like ours.

We have seen your statements in the media that you are simply going along with the wishes of migrants to come to cities like New York and Chicago. Both our cities are working tirelessly to ensure that migrants can reach their desired destinations, where they are reunited with their loved ones. However, you are sending migrants and families to New York and Chicago who have no connections, family members, or community networks to welcome them, at a time when both cities are at capacity in shelter space and available services.

As of August 31, 2022, the city of Chicago received 3,854 migrants transported to the city by bus from Texas, and an additional number of migrants who arrived in Chicago by other means. In part, as we hope you know, none of the asylum seekers have work permits, and thus Chicago is currently providing services to over 1,600 individuals in its shelter system who have nowhere else to go. The City of Chicago is a welcoming city and provides support, including emergency shelter; diversion services; basic necessities such as food and showers; long-term housing; legal services; as well as the physical and behavioral health needs of individuals. Because of all these factors, the shelter system is now over capacity.

Over the past nine months, New York has welcomed a surge in asylum seekers. As of January 4, 2023, approximately 36,400 asylum seekers have passed through New York’s emergency intake system, with more staying with family, friends and other networks. New York has opened emergency shelters and emergency response and assistance centers to meet this unprecedented need. New York provides many forms of support, including shelter, food, legal services, household items such as clothing, and health care, but its ability to provide services is strained. New York’s shelters are over capacity. In fiscal year 2023 alone, New York City will spend about $1 billion to address the asylum crisis, and that number will continue to rise if current arrival trends continue.

We urge you to follow best practices set forth by the US Department of Homeland Security, which identify host countries as leaders in providing housing and general services to asylum seekers. Additionally, the city of Denver is nationally known for providing some of the best services for the homeless population – setting best practices across the country – it is unusual to deny newcomers access to these resources. In fact, many new arrivals from Colorado were under your care for weeks, receiving favors and establishing relationships only to be uprooted with a promise that the host cities could not keep.

To reiterate, you must stop busing migrants to Chicago and New York. In the case of family reunification, let us work together to ensure that people are reunited with their loved ones, but sending migrants to our cities, whose systems are overflowing with capacity, where they may struggle to find shelter and other services, is wrong and further victimizes the most vulnerable. These actions do not correspond to the values ​​of a proclaimed host country and must stop immediately.

Instead, let’s work together to advocate to the federal government for a national solution that meets this need. New York and Chicago have always been cities of immigrants. Although we are all fighting a fictional humanitarian crisis, we must all come together to tackle this national problem and look forward to working together to meet this challenge.

At your disposal,

Lori E. Lightfoot

mayor

Chicago

Eric Adams

mayor

new York


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