Chicago mayor wants more money for migrants


(The Center Square) – After some hesitation, Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson has made his latest request for migrant funding.

Johnson paused last month, after previously agreeing to have the city join Cook County and the state of Illinois in spending a combined $320 million on migrants.

Wirepoints President Ted Dabrowski explained the mayor’s pivot.

“Brandon Johnson had reneged on that for a while. Maybe he had a lot of pressure and now he’s back. He’s committing to spend the $70 million that he originally was asked to spend and, of course, the numbers just keep adding up,” Dabrowski said.

Chicagoans are being subordinated to illegal immigrants, he said.

“People aren’t happy. When you have illegal immigrants come in and absorb and take tens and hundreds and soon-to-be billions of dollars, you can understand why people are ticked off,” Dabrowski said. “They feel cheated.”

Chicago taxpayers continue to spend on migrants and illegal immigrants with increased levels. Johnson asked the city council for another $70 million on top of the nearly $300 million the city has already devoted to migrants.

“If we provide just basic, basic humanitarian care for people who arrive here, and so we’re attempting to do that,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Monday at the prospect of Chicago committing more funds. “I know that the mayor is committed to this, certainly the president of the Cook County Board is committed to it, and I am.”

Pritzker was optimistic the Chicago City Council would act on the increased funding this week.

“By the way, the state is taking more than a majority of the cost on, and so collectively this kind of partnership is the right way to go for the taxpayers,” Pritzker said. “It’s the right way to go for doing what’s right for the new arrivals in Chicago. I’m proud of the work that the volunteers, the people on the ground are doing just to provide these basic humanitarian needs.”

Dabrowski said the taxpayers’ bill is much higher when the cost of healthcare is included.

“They’re getting free Medicaid-like healthcare. I’m not talking about the new migrants, but I’m talking about the ones that have come in the last three years,” Dabrowski said.

Taxpayers are also funding education for migrant children.

“You know, it costs Chicago Public Schools on an operating basis about $25,000 a kid, $30,000 in total. So when you start adding 2,000 kids to that, you’re talking about big, big numbers. It’s a huge impact on the budget. It’s a huge impact on Chicago,” Dabrowski added. “And, of course, we understand the politics are huge, too, because you’re talking about illegal immigrants versus city of Chicago residents.”

According to the mayor’s office, nearly 39,000 new arrivals have come to Chicago since August 2022.

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