Faced with the reality of illegal immigration, Democratic leaders have started adopting hawkish Republican immigration policies that they once decried as racist.
It turns out “sanctuary cities” aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.
Since April, Republican governors — Texas’ Greg Abbott, Arizona’s Doug Ducey and Florida’s Ron DeSantis — have sought to highlight the burden of record-high illegal immigration on their states by sending more than 11,000 migrants to Democrat-run destinations, like New York City, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.
- The leaders of the target locales have reacted with righteous indignation, even as they have employed similar tactics.
1. OUT -OF-STATE TRANSPORT
SHOT: In August, Mayor Lori Lightfoot of Chicago, a self-proclaimed sanctuary city for illegal immigrants, slammed Abbott’s bussing of illegal immigrants to her city as “racist” and “inhumane.”
- Last week, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, “Republican governors interfering in that process and using migrants as political pawns is — is shameful, is reckless, and just plain wrong.”
CHASER: Shortly after migrants began arriving in Chicago in early September, Lightfoot sent 64 of them packing on a bus to the suburb of Burr Ridge.
- Burr Ridge’s Republican mayor complained the migrants were “being used as political pawns by the governor and mayor.”
- Meanwhile, El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser, a Democrat, has bused thousands of migrants to destinations across the country, including over 1,000 sent to New York City, explaining that El Paso is “helping and working to get them where they want to go.”
- The Biden administration has regularly transported illegal immigrant children into the interior of the country on “ghost flights” and by bus or van.
2. CALLING IN THE TROOPS
SHOT: Democratic Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke condemned Abbott’s deployment of National Guardsmen to the southern border as recently as April.
- In a November 2018 letter to the Pentagon, O’Rourke criticized then-President Trump for sending troops to the border, writing that “the President is using military for partisan political purposes.”
- Last week, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker mobilized 75 National Guards to help manage roughly 500 migrants in Chicago.
- Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser has repeatedly called for National Guards to deal with around 350 migrants staying in the city.
- Martha’s Vineyard, a self-proclaimed sanctuary location, worked with state and federal officials to coordinate deployment of 125 Massachusetts National Guards to manage 50 migrants.
3. TITLE 42
SHOT: The Biden administration worked to end Title 42, a COVID-19 emergency measure enacted by Trump that allows the expulsion of migrants deemed a threat to public health.
- In April 2020, then-Sen. Kamala Harris, now the White House “border czar,” called for the end of Title 42, condemning it as “a startling expansion of executive power under the guise of a global pandemic response.”
- The White House fought a lengthy legal battle to overturn the measure up until May.
CHASER: Facing mounting dissent from within his own party over the border crisis, President Biden has quietly reversed course and is now seeking to increase Title 42 expulsions.
- The Biden administration has been negotiating with the government of Mexico behind closed doors to accept more expelled migrants under Title 42, according to a Reuters report last week.
4. BUILDING THE WALL
SHOT: On the campaign trail in August 2020, Biden attacked Trump’s push to build a barrier along the southwest border, promising “there will not be another foot of wall constructed in my administration.”
CHASER: During winter 2022, the Customs and Border Protection built 13 miles of 21-foot-tall concrete and steel barriers along the Rio Grande border near McAllen, Texas, claiming they were flood control measures.
- In July, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas approved the construction of four new sections of border wall to fill in heavily trafficked gaps along the border by the Morelos Dam, near Yuma, Arizona, saying they were for the protection of migrants at risk of drowning in the Rio Grande.
The illegal immigrants that Republican governors have transported northward in recent months represent a tiny fraction of the migrants apprehended in more than 2 million encounters at the border this year.
- And that’s not even counting over half a million “gotaways.”