CHICAGO, Ill. (WTVO) — Gov. JB Pritzker says federal leaders should stop migrants from coming to Illinois in droves over the winter, saying the lack of shelter will make the Midwest cold more dangerous.
“There are other places in the country they can go and the federal government ought to be helping to manage the logistics so people can go to places where they survive through the winter,” Pritzker said Wednesday.
Pritzker previously said his administration had sent a letter to the White House for financial help to meet the needs of non-citizen migrants being bussed to Chicago from border states.
Buses carrying over 20,000 migrants, who illegally crossed the southern border of the U.S., have arrived in Chicago this year after the city declared itself a “sanctuary city” in 2021.
According to the city’s Sanctuary City Ordinance, Chicago authorities do not ask an individual’s immigration status or report noncitizens to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which would deport them to their home countries.
The declaration, made by Democratic former Mayor Lori Lightfoot, was in response to former President Donald Trump’s goal to build a wall along the Texas border. In response, southern governors began sending buses of migrants to Chicago and other self-declared “sanctuary cities” nationwide.
Pritzker recently said he has concerns about a $29 million tent camp planned to house migrants currently staying at the city’s police stations and suggested housing migrants in unused buildings, such as closed schools.
The city has announced that it will be deploying 16 warming buses to keep the migrants warm.
To encourage other cities in the Chicago region to take in the migrants, Pritzker announced $41.5 million in grants to pay for shelter and housing support, food, legal support, and health care.
Under U.S. immigration law, foreign nationals seeking asylum in America are required to wait in their home country for 150 days after submitting their application for a work permit.
The migrants arriving in the Chicago area have bypassed the country’s legal immigration system.
So far, Pritzker said the State of Illinois has spent “two to three times as much” as Chicago has to meet the needs of the migrants.