Chicago, IL

Illinois Urges Federal Action to Prevent Chicago Migrant Surge in Winter Due to Dangerous Conditions

Natalie Frank, Ph.D.

Governor Pritzker calls for federal action to stop migrant arrivals in Chicago before negative temperatures

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker stated that federal leaders should intervene to divert migrants from coming to Illinois over the winter. He warned that the lack of shelter will endanger migrants amid Midwest cold temperatures.

Over 20,000 migrants who crossed the southern U.S. border have been bused to Chicago this year after the city declared itself a "sanctuary city" in 2021. Under this policy, authorities don't inquire about immigration status or report noncitizens to deportation authorities.

The influx follows Republican southern governors sending migrants to declared sanctuary cities nationwide, originating from former President Trump's border wall plans. Pritzker recently voiced concerns about Chicago's planned $29 million migrant tent camp, suggesting unused buildings as alternate housing.

To encourage regional aid, Illinois will provide $41.5 million in grants for migrant shelter, food, healthcare and other services. However, Pritzker asserts the federal government should better coordinate migrant placement based on regions' capacity, especially shelter needs in winter.

The arriving migrants have not followed the legal process for asylum seekers to work in the U.S. Pritzker says Illinois has spent two to three times more than Chicago to support them.

Most Chicago residents oppose the sanctuary city policy according to a recent survey. Under U.S. immigration law, asylum applicants must wait 150 days after filing for work permits.

In summary, Governor Pritzker is urging federal intervention in rerouting and regulating the influx of migrants to Illinois. He cites concerns about insufficient shelter and resources for migrants during winter months. Pritzker wants national coordination on placements based on regions' capacity.


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