CHICAGO, Ill. (WTVO) — Lawmakers voiced opposition to Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson’s proposal to create “winterized base camps” to shelter thousands of migrants on Wednesday, saying the state must take care of its own residents before spending “millions and millions on people who just got here,” according to Block Club Chicago.
State Senator Willie Preston and Representative Cyril Nichols reportedly spoke to dozens of Chicago residents on the city’s South Side, who told the lawmakers they oppose plans to create tent shelters in the area.
“We can’t spend millions and millions on people who just got here while I step over my people lying in tents,” Preston said. “We can’t keep taking on new tasks when we haven’t handled the first ones yet.”
Plans to shelter migrants in “tent shelters” have been pushed by Johnson. The mayor’s administration reportedly signed a $29 million contract to build the shelters.
Preston said he would vote “no” on funding for the shelters while Nichols encouraged neighbors to vote and support their local officials to see active change.
The migrant crisis has impacted Chicago particularly, with tens of thousands of asylum-seekers arriving in Chicago since the city declared itself a “sanctuary city” in 2021.
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker told reporters on Tuesday he encouraged working with the federal government to deport non-citizen migrants who are not seeking asylum. This comes shortly after the governor wrote a letter told President Joe Biden, calling the migrant situation “untenable.”