Chicago resident on migrant influx: 'Why can't we close the borders of Chicago?'

Yesterday, Karen wrote about the train of mostly South American migrants heading toward the US border. That story made the local news in Chicago as did the fact that migrants were simply being released on the streets because of overcrowding at border facilities. Fox 32 Chicago also noticed this little exchange between a migrant and a border patrol officer. The migrant asked if he was free to go to Chicago. “You can go wherever you want,” the officer replied.


If you watched to the end then you caught the reporter’s statement that caring for all of the migrants currently arriving in Chicago was expected to cost the city $225 million this year. That’s actually a bit lower than an estimate put out by Mayor Brandon Johnson this month.

Chicago’s burgeoning migrant crisis will have cost taxpayers more than a quarter of a billion dollars by Dec. 31, Mayor Brandon Johnson told City Council members Friday…

Between August and December of 2022, the city spent $17.5 million to house, feed, clothe and otherwise care for asylum seekers. As the pace of new arrivals increased exponentially, the city’s spending from January through July 23 ballooned to $115.2 million. Through the rest of the year, top mayoral aides expect the crisis to cost the city another $123 million.

The grand total: $255.7 million.

Ald. Andre Vasquez (40th), chair of the Council’s Committee of Immigrant and Refugee Rights, was alarmed, but not at all surprised by the skyrocketing price tag.

Vasquez said he has no idea where that $255.7 million is going to come from.

Mayor Johnson has refused to rule out budget cuts or tax increases to pay for all of that. All he would say is that “sacrifices” need to be made. One of those sacrifices will be finding sites where the city can put up tent camps to house all of these people.

Mayor Brandon Johnson has asked all 50 city council members to identify a 2-acre space in their wards that can accommodate a large tent that would be equipped with heat and cooling units, cots, a mess hall and water hookups – enough to house more than 200 migrants.

“I think what should be made clear is because of the scale we are looking at, everyone needs to share in the responsibility,” said Immigrant and Refugee Rights Committee Chairman Alderman Andre Vasquez.

But, not every alderperson wants or is able to share the responsibility.

“I’ve looked in my ward. I just don’t have any available space. I have one of the most dense wards in the city,” Hopkins said.


And that brings us to a town hall meeting Chicago alderman Ronnie Mosley held last week. Alderman Mosley was trying to assure people that an empty lot slated to become housing was not going to become a tent camp for migrants. He said it didn’t seem likely to happen now but couldn’t rule it out in the future.

But the highlight of this meeting came when a local resident asked why this was allowed to happen: “Why can’t we close the borders of Chicago or the state of Illinois in the first place? Why can’t we close the border?” Alderman Mosley did his best to blame Gov. Abbott but was forced to admit it was the federal government making the decisions.

The clip ends:

WOMAN: That’s what I wanted to know. Can we say no we won’t take anymore?

MOSLEY: It has to come from the federal government.

As you’ve already seen in the video at the top of this story, migrants want to come to Chicago. Texas doesn’t have to force anyone onto buses headed for the city. All they are doing is giving them a free ride. It’s the Biden administration that is releasing these folks onto the streets and telling them they’re free to go. It’s the Biden administration that is responsible for control of the border. If the border needs to be closed, the Biden Administration is the responsible party.


Anyway, it’s pretty amazing to black residents of Chicago who suddenly sound like right-wing border hawks. This will continue so long as the crisis at the border continues.

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