SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Governor JB Pritzker called the migrant situation “untenable” and “overwhelming” in a letter to President Joe Biden on Monday.
Over 15,000 migrants have arrived in Illinois in the last 13 months, according to Pritzker, who added that Illinois “has undertaken an unprecedented humanitarian response” to assist asylum seekers.
“But as the numbers being transported to Chicago are accelerating, the humanitarian crisis is overwhelming our ability to provide aid to the refugee population,” said Pritzker in the letter.
“Most critically, the federal government’s lack of intervention and coordination at the border has created an untenable situation for Illinois.”
Migrants continue to enter the state, according to Pritzker, costing Illinois over $330 million to provide humanitarian aid.
“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.
Pritzker included a list of requests “to address this crisis without further delay.” The list included waiving fees for TPS applicants, “significant” increases in logistical coordination and data collection, financial support to states, local governments and NGOs, accelerating employment authorization, and approving Illinois’ request for Medicaid waivers, housing vouchers and federal coordination and support.
“Mr. President, I urge you, Secretary Mayorkas, and the rest of your administration to take swift action and intervene on our behalf and on behalf of the other affected states and their residents, as well as on behalf of the tens of thousands of asylum seekers who undertook a dangerous and difficult journey in hopes of attaining public safety and forging a better life for themselves and their families,” Pritzker concluded.