Texas spent over $370K on 2 flights to send migrants to Chicago, records show

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Saturday, January 20, 2024
Texas spent over $370K on 2 migrant flights to Illinois, records show
New records show Texas spent over $370,000 on charter flights to O'Hare and Rockford airports last month to send migrants to Chicago.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- New numbers Friday show the cost Texas paid to fly migrants to Illinois last month.

Two flights were chartered by the Texas state government late last year. One flew from El Paso and landed at O'Hare Airport. The other was from San Antonio and landed in Rockford.

ABC7's Houston affiliate, ABC13, obtained the figures through a public records request.

The Texas Division of Emergency Management spent $135,000 on the flight that landed at O'Hare and more than $235,000 on the flight to Rockford.

The flight from El Paso carried more than 120 migrants to Chicago, which means at least $1,000 was spent per migrant. There were more than 300 asylum seekers on the flight to Rockford.

Virginia-based Zephyr Aviation, LLC was in charge of both of those flights, ABC13 Houston reported.

Since launching its migrant transportation program in April 2022, Texas has bused 101,800 migrants to six cities across the U.S.

ABC13 Houston Investigates previously found Greg Abbott's Texas government spent $89 million from July 18, 2022, through Oct. 12, 2023, to bus migrants out of state.

ABC7 Chicago has reached out to the state for comment but did not immediately hear back.

ABC13 Houston contributed to this report.