Internet InfoMedia illinois governor asks texas to halt sending migrants amid winter storm

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Illinois’ governor has asked for a humanitarian break in the flow of migrants sent by Texas due to a dangerous and potentially deadly storm.

“Over the coming days, Illinois will experience a dangerous winter storm and subzero temperatures,” Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) wrote in a letter addressed to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Friday.

“You are dropping off asylum seekers without alerting us to their arrivals, at improper locations at all hours of the night,” he said. “I hope we can at least agree on saving lives right now.”

A winter storm brought heavy snow and near-blizzard conditions to Chicago on Friday. The storm is expected to be followed by extremely cold temperatures through the weekend.

A winter storm brought heavy snow and near-blizzard conditions to Chicago on Friday. The storm is expected to be followed by extremely cold temperatures through the weekend.
Chicago Tribune via Getty Images

Significant parts of Illinois are under blizzard or winter storm warnings. Windchill temperatures are expected to dip into the minus 20s and 30s overnight on Saturday, Sunday and Monday across the central and northern parts of the state, according to the National Weather Service.

Pritzker in his letter acknowledged the ongoing frustration that states along the U.S.-Mexico border, like Texas, have felt as migrants overwhelm government checkpoints, shelters and surrounding border communities. He asked that the federal government address this issue, and not Abbott, who has resorted to busing and flying people to states that have declared themselves sanctuaries for migrants.

“While action is pending at the federal level, I plead with you for mercy for the thousands of people who are powerless to speak for themselves,” Pritzker said. “Please, while winter is threatening vulnerable people’s lives, suspend your transports and do not send more people to our state.”

A group of migrants receive food outside a migrant "landing zone" in Chicago on Friday during a winter storm.

A group of migrants receive food outside a migrant “landing zone” in Chicago on Friday during a winter storm.
KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI via Getty Images

Abbott is meanwhile warning his own state’s residents of severe winter weather, which is expected to bring below-freezing temperatures, windchills and freezing rain in part of Texas through Wednesday. He advised residents on Friday to stay off the roads and not drive unless necessary.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the weather, either in Texas or in Illinois, would halt Abbott’s migrant transportation efforts. The Chicago Sun-Times reported that one migrant bus from Texas was expected to arrive in the Chicago area Friday.

A representative for Abbott’s office did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment. A spokesperson for Pritzker, reached by HuffPost, declined to answer questions about any possible response from Abbott.

The city of Chicago, as of Friday, has provided shelter to more than 34,500 migrants who have arrived from Texas via buses, according to the city’s website.

Abbott had announced late last month that his government would start flying migrants to Chicago after the city voted to fine and impound buses arriving from the Lone Star State without advance notice. He announced the decision by flying roughly 100 immigrants to a private wing at O’Hare International Airport from El Paso without warning, the city of Chicago said.

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