In a display of political theater, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has penned a letter to Joe Biden, urging him to take action on the migrant crisis that has been overwhelming the state.
The irony is palpable. For years, Illinois has been a self-proclaimed sanctuary for illegal immigrants, with a history of immigrant-friendly policies, including the Immigrant Tenants Protection Act and the TRUST Act, which generally prohibits local law enforcement from participating in immigration enforcement.
Chicago, the state’s largest city, has a Welcoming City Ordinance that ensures the city will not inquire about one’s immigration status, disclose that information to authorities, or deny city services based on immigration status.
This sanctuary status dates back to 1985 and has been a point of pride for many Illinois residents, not until Republican governors bussed the illegal aliens to their city.
But now, Governor Pritzker is upping the pressure on President Biden, stating that the “humanitarian crisis is overwhelming our ability to provide aid to the refugee population.”
According to the governor, over 15,000 asylum seekers have arrived in Illinois from the border in the past 13 months, and the numbers are accelerating. The state has been forced to dedicate over $330 million to provide humanitarian aid, with the city of Chicago contributing an additional $100 million. You wish for it, governor; why complain?
In his letter to Biden, Governor Pritzker asked for specific recommendations for federal action. He urged the establishment of a single office in the White House, led by an individual who reports directly to the President, to oversee the nation’s efforts at the border. According to Pritzker, the current system is plagued by a lack of coordination among various federal departments, making it difficult for states and cities to manage the challenges they face.
The irony here is too rich to ignore. For years, Illinois has been inviting illegal immigrants into the state, touting its sanctuary policies as a badge of honor. Now, when the consequences of those policies are becoming too much to bear, the Governor is turning to the federal government for help.
Read his letter to Joe Biden:
In the 13 months since the first bus of asylum seekers arrived in Illinois from the border, our state has undertaken an unprecedented humanitarian response to the arrival of now over 15,000 people.
Governors and mayors from border states have shipped people to our state like cargo in a dehumanizing attempt to score political points. The people of Illinois are kind and generous. We believe in the fundamental right of every human, especially those facing persecution, to find refuge and live with dignity in this great country of ours.
But as the numbers being transported to Chicago are accelerating, the humanitarian crisis is overwhelming our ability to provide aid to the refugee population. Unfortunately, the welcome and aid Illinois has been providing to these asylum seekers has not been matched with support by the federal government. Most critically, the federal government’s lack of intervention and coordination at the border has created an untenable situation for Illinois.
On top of the 15,000 that have arrived in Chicago and Illinois over the last 13 months, we are now seeing busloads more migrants at increasingly higher rates being sent specifically to Chicago each day. Our state government has been forced to dedicate over $330 million to provide humanitarian aid – and that amount is increasing each day. That’s a massive amount of money for a state still overcoming the health and economic effects of COVID-19. Add to that the over $100 million the city of Chicago contributed. Though we have found temporary housing in existing buildings for a majority of the refugees, we are challenged to find additional housing for the continuous flow of people who keep coming and are now forced to sleep in police stations and on sidewalks. This situation is untenable and requires your immediate help beyond the coming work authorizations for some of the asylum seekers.
There is much more that can and must be done on a federal level to address a national humanitarian crisis that is currently being shouldered by state and local governments without support.
First and foremost, I recommend that there be one person in the federal government who works directly for you in the White House who can lead the oversight of our nation’s efforts at the border. Right now, we have too many different federal department contacts – who are uncoordinated with one another – that handle various programs related to this humanitarian crisis.
A single office with an identified leader must be assigned to work for the cities and states across the silos of government to manage the challenges we all face.
Governor Pritzker’s letter to President Biden is a classic example of a politician refusing to take responsibility for the consequences of their own actions. The Governor claims that the federal government’s lack of intervention has created an untenable situation for Illinois. But what about the state’s own lack of intervention in enforcing immigration laws? What about the welcoming policies that have made Illinois a magnet for illegal immigration?
Chicago has spent over $100M to care for illegals arriving in the city thanks to Joe Biden’s broken border. But officials won’t provide transparency on how the money is being spent.
NBC Chicago reports that the city of Chicago’s finance department has denied NBC 5 Investigates’ Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for copies of a year’s worth of invoices. The invoices are related to more than $57 million spent on a staffing company that has a contract with the city to provide staffing in shelters.
The city claims, “The burden of redacting records ‘outweighs public interest in the information.’”
In February, CBS 2 revealed their FOIA request, on how the city has spent the more than $100 million, was also denied by Chicago Office of Budget & Management.
In the denial letter to NBC’s recent FOIA, the city said the request for 498 payment vouchers (that would require redactions) was “unduly burdensome” and would impose “immense burden on the department’s time.”
Chicago has spent over $100M to care for the illegals arriving in the city thanks to Joe Biden’s broken border.
Despite the millions in taxpayer dollars, the city remains so overwhelmed that migrants are being housed in police stations and turning O’Hare airport into a dangerous, filthy and unsanitary encampment.
And now, Chicago is facing a $538 million budget shortfall for 2024 with more than a third of that shortfall tied to Biden’s illegal crisis, according to The Chicago Sun-Times.
The Gateway Pundit reported in May that, while Chicago burns with rampant crime and violence, the City Council approved $51 million in aid for illegals. In July, it was revealed that most of those funds, $47 million, would be used to pay for a national staffing firm that provides personnel at shelters receiving illegals arriving in the city.
Also, the state of Illinois has passed a law requiring landlords to open their doors to illegal immigrants.
As housing costs spiral out of control, particularly in large metropolitan areas such as Chicago, this new mandate is set to potentially increase the pool of renters by tens of thousands.
This legislation makes it a civil rights violation in the state of Illinois to ‘discriminate’ against a person based on their immigration status in a wide range of real estate transactions.
Also under House Bill 3882, signed by Illinois Governor JB Pritzker on Friday , immigrants in the state will now have access to standard driver’s licenses that can be used for identification with or without permission from U.S. immigration authorities.
The current “Temporary Visitor Driver’s License” (TVDL) will be phased out. While TVDLs look similar to a standard driver’s licenses, they contain a purple strip across the top that reads “TVDL” and specifies that the it is not valid for identification.
Chicagoans are paying the price for socialists like Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson embracing sanctuary city status.
Now, two Alderman in the city, Anthony Napolitano (41st) and Anthony Beale (9th), have cosponsored a resolution that would add a referendum to the March 2024 primary ballot asking voters if Chicago should continue to keep its sanctuary city designation.