Gov. Greg Abbott’s office released an updated list Friday regarding the number of illegal aliens Texas has transported to Democrat-led cities over the last couple of years.

State officials have transported over 12,500 illegal aliens to Washington, D.C., since April 2022; 40,300 to New York City and 33,000 to Chicago since August 2022; 3,400 to Philadelphia since November 2022; 17,100 to Denver since May 2023; and 1,500 to Los Angeles since June 2023.

The numbers represent a jump of 1,300 more illegal aliens to New York City, 800 more to Chicago, and 500 more to Denver since Abbott’s office last updated the totals.

The transportation is part of Texas’ multi-agency border security effort—Operation Lone Star—which began in March 2021 and is led by the Texas Department of Public Safety and Military Department.

Since its launch, OLS has apprehended 505,800 illegal aliens and seized over  470 million lethal doses of fentanyl. More than 41,000 criminal arrests and 36,500 felony charges have also occurred.

OLS has placed barriers on the southern border, including marine buoys in the Rio Grande and concertina wire along its banks. In high-profile lawsuits, federal officials have gone after both practices.

Abbott recently pledged that “Texas will hold the line and use every tool and strategy to keep our country safe” when reflecting on OLS successes following President Joe Biden’s State of the Union earlier this month.

The release of the new transportation numbers came ahead of New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ decision to forego his plan to travel to the United States-Mexico border later this week.

He was slated to visit Brownsville and McAllen. However, Adams’ spokeswoman Amaris Cockfield told The Associated Press on Sunday that security concerns have canceled it.

Adams and Abbott previously butted heads last year after Abbott announced the state would resume the transportation of illegal aliens into the Big Apple.

“Not only is this behavior morally bankrupt and devoid of any concern for the well-being of asylum seekers, but it is also impossible to ignore the fact that Abbott is now targeting five cities run by Black mayors,” Adams claimed at the time. “Put plainly, Abbott is using this crisis to hurt Black-run cities.”

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot also wrote to Abbott around the same time last year, urging him to stop the “inhumane and dangerous action” of transporting illegal aliens into self-described sanctuary cities.

Still, Abbott defended the practice of transporting illegal aliens to blue cities while visiting New York City for a Manhattan Institute event in September 2023.

“What is going on in New York is calm and organized compared to the real chaos of what we see on the border—not every day—but every hour of every day,” said Abbott.

Luca Cacciatore

Luca H. Cacciatore is a journalist for Texas Scorecard. He is an American Moment inaugural fellow and former welder.