Los Angeles, US, Dec 31 (EFE). – A plane chartered by the Texas government with more than 350 migrants landed on Sunday in Rockford, near Chicago, circumventing a recent order by the city council that imposed new rules on the arrival of buses sent from the southern border.
The plane carrying 355 migrants landed early Sunday at Rockford International Airport, about 90 miles (150 kilometers) northwest of Chicago, television station WTVO reported.
In a joint statement, Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara and Winnebago County officials said they were notified Saturday of the plane’s arrival from San Antonio, Texas.
McNamara ordered that the migrants not be allowed to leave airport facilities and be placed on buses to Chicago.
The plane, the second this week, represents a challenge to Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson’s new executive order to regulate the massive arrival of immigrants.
The buses and planes are part of Operation Lone Star, undertaken by the governor of Texas, Republican Greg Abbott, with which he has transported more than 80,000 migrants to Democratic cities.
Chicago has received more than 23,800 migrants since August 2022, with more than 600 buses sent, and in recent weeks has struggled to provide shelter to migrants as winter approaches.
On Dec. 19, Texas sent a plane carrying more than 100 migrants to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, the first flight chartered by the state to transport foreigners who recently crossed the country’s southern border.
Last week, a spokesman for Abbott confirmed that the governor had begun chartering flights in response to Johnson’s policy of limiting bus arrivals.
The mayors of New York and Denver have taken similar steps, ordering vehicles impounded if they do not comply with orders to drop off aliens at specific locations and times.
In recent weeks, bus drivers sent from Texas have dropped off migrants in suburbs near Chicago, such as Indiana, and given them transport tickets to get downtown, according to the Chicago Tribune newspaper. EFE