Springfield, Illinois – October 7, 2023
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has sounded the alarm in a letter addressed to the White House, highlighting the increasingly dire situation posed by illegal immigration, which he deems “untenable” and “overwhelming” for the state. In his letter, Governor Pritzker reveals that over 15,000 individuals have entered Illinois from the southern border over the past 13 months, and the federal government has not provided adequate resources to manage this influx.
“In the 13 months since the first bus of asylum seekers arrived in Illinois from the border, our state has undertaken an unprecedented humanitarian response to the arrival of now over 15,000 people,” he wrote. “Governors and mayors from border states have shipped people to our state like cargo in a dehumanizing attempt to score political points.”
Governor Pritzker emphasizes that while the people of Illinois are compassionate and believe in providing refuge to those facing persecution, the humanitarian crisis is straining the state’s capacity to assist the refugee population. He points out that the federal government’s lack of intervention and coordination at the border has created an unsustainable situation in Illinois.
To address this crisis, Governor Pritzker proposed several recommendations to the Biden administration. He highlights the need for a designated federal office in the White House, led by a specific individual, to oversee the nation’s efforts at the border. The governor believes that the current lack of coordination among various federal departments dealing with the crisis hampers effective management.
Additionally, Governor Pritzker suggests waiving fees for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) applications, enhancing logistical coordination and data collection, increasing financial support, expediting employment authorization, and approving benefits such as free healthcare and housing assistance.
White House Press Secretary Jean Karine-Pierre responded to questions about the issue, asserting that the Biden administration has been actively engaged in addressing the immigration crisis. She stressed the importance of ongoing engagement and conversations to determine how the federal government can assist states on the ground.
Residents of Chicago, a Democratic stronghold, have also expressed frustration with local politicians regarding mass immigration-related issues. Some residents have voiced their discontent with plans to relocate a youth football team from a sports field to make space for a migrant camp. Protests and demands for accountability have surfaced, as residents seek solutions to challenges posed by the influx of migrants.
Chicago’s Mayor Brandon Johnson has called for additional federal funds to manage the impact of the population shift resulting from federal policies. Similarly, New York City Mayor Eric Adams has voiced concerns about the consequences of uncontrolled illegal immigration. He warned that the situation could “destroy” New York City and urged for measures to address the issue.
The immigration crisis remains a critical challenge, prompting calls for federal intervention and coordinated efforts to alleviate its impact on states like Illinois and cities across the United States.