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Texas Transportation Company Sues Chicago Over New Restrictions on Migrant Buses

— January 19, 2024

The lawsuit alleges that a Chicago ordinance, recently enacted to curb the flow of migrant-filled buses into the city, is unconstitutional.

A Texas transportation company has filed a federal lawsuit against Chicago, claiming that the city’s recently-implemented restrictions against buses transporting asylum-seekers into the Windy City are unlawful and unconstitutional.

According to CNN, the lawsuit was filed on behalf of Wynne Transportation LLC, which is challenging an ordinance that requiring that one-way buses arriving from outside the Chicago metropolitan area receive pre-approval. Companies that violate the ordinance are subject to fines of up to $3,000 and risk having their vehicle impounded.

“Texas bus operators continue to willfully break the law by disregarding regulations designed to ensure the safety of asylum-seekers in Chicago,” Mayor Brandon Johnson’s office said in a December press release.

CNN notes that, since April of 2022, bus companies acting at the direction of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott have transported more than 90,000 migrants to so-called “asylum cities” across the country. Destinations have included Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Denver, and Washington, D.C.

Michael Kozlowski, an attorney representing Wynne Transportation LLC, said that Chicago’s ordinances—which do not directly mention or address asylum-seekers—are unconstitutional.

Former Texas Attorney General and current Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Image via Flickr/user:Gage Skidmore. (CCA-BY-2.0).

“Wynne is taking action against the City’s ordinance because it unlawfully interferes with its business and violates Wynne’s constitutional rights and the rights of Wynne’s passengers,” Kozlowski said in a statement.

“Rather than welcoming migrants and giving them sanctuary, Chicago is turning its back on those wishing to travel here by enacting an ordinance that targets the transportation companies that transport migrants from our southern border to their desired destination – Chicago – in violation of Plaintiff’s constitutional rights,” the lawsuit alleges.

“This case is about allowing immigrants the opportunity to call Chicago home,” the lawsuit states.

Kozlowski told FOX News that Chicago made a decision to enact an ordinance that is so “clearly unconstitutional.” He also emphasized that the city has filed dozens of similar lawsuits against other bus companies implicated in the interstate transportation of migrants and asylum-seekers.

“I’m a little surprised, quite frankly, to see that the city has passed an ordinance, which is so clearly unconstitutional, and then is aggressively pursuing enforcement of that ordinance by filing 95 different lawsuits against these companies,” he said.

FOX News notes that, when running for office last year, Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson published a statement on his campaign website stressing the need to continue accepting migrants.

“Chicago is a sanctuary city,” the website said. “As such, we must always resist attempts to pit communities against each other and extend this sanctuary promise to everyone who needs it in our city—both long-time residents and newcomers alike.”

However, critics of Abbott’s policy have argued that the Texas governor is manipulating migrants for political gain by pioneering programs that intend to stress the resources of large Democratic cities.


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