Illinois Leaders Call on Federal Government to Help With Migrant Surge

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Illinois Leaders Call on Federal Government to Help With Migrant Surge (Chicago, IL) (via The Center Square) — Chicago started moving some of the foreign nationals from the southern border to other communities throughout the city. However, some say not enough is being done to help those who’ve been here for generations.

A significant amount of migrant families have been placed by Chicago city officials in the High Ridge YMCA building with plans to move them to Daley College. However, the move for the new arrivals was delayed by Mayor Brandon Johnson due to police workload issues.

“The City’s overall goal is to ensure that shelters are a short-term solution and to relieve pressure on Chicago Police Department district stations by providing shelter for more than 400 single new arrivals,” Johnson said in a statement.

Sunday, the move began. State Rep. La Shawn Ford, D-Chicago, said current city residents feel underserved.

“What people are feeling is that the people who have been in these neighborhoods for generations, they have been treated inhumanely by the same government that is making efforts to provide good care to the asylum seekers,” Ford told The Center Square.

More than 10,000 migrants have arrived in Chicago from the southern border over the past nine months, which has resulted in taxpayer funding going towards addressing the influx.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker enacted the annual state budget that begins July 1. The plan includes $43 million from state taxpayers for the issue in Chicago. The state budget also provides taxpayer subsidies for some migrant health care.

On top of state funds, Chicago is also appropriating $51 million toward housing and other services.

On Monday, Pritzker said he was doing everything he could to assist.

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“We are doing as much as we are asked to do and as much as we can do to try and provide help at the local level in the city so that people have food, clothing, shelter and the basic needs like healthcare,” Pritzker said.

When asked what more could be done, the governor suggested more help from President Joe Biden’s administration and work permits for the migrants.

“I have been imploring the White House and the federal government to do two things. One is we need comprehensive immigration reform,” Pritzker said. “In the meantime, we ought to be allowing at least the asylum seekers that came here in the latter half of last year to now get work permits. We have jobs available for them.”

The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights also urged Biden and those in Washington D.C. for more help.

“To be clear: communities across our city, state, and nation are ready and willing to welcome migrants, and to fight for policies and resources that ensure they can start the next chapter of their lives with dignity and respect,” the statement reads. “The federal government must step up to ensure emergency resources reach cities and states, and President Biden must take action to restore the asylum process and provide work permits to migrants as asylum cases are pending.”

Ford told The Center Square that any plan that is going to be put forth taxpayer funding should include the Chicago residents affected by similar issues the migrants are facing.

“Everyone that is experiencing homelessness and trauma should be included in any plan that incorporates the refugees,” Ford said.

The $51 million in city funds is only expected to last a few months. It’s unclear how many more migrants will arrive in Chicago.

Illinois Leaders Call on Federal Government to Help With Migrant Surge

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