Illinois mayor demands an apology from the governor for sending illegal migrants without notice

Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP, Pool

Good luck with that. Mayor Craig Johnson of Elk Grove Village, Illinois wants an apology from Governor Pritzker for bussing 90 illegal migrants to the Chicago suburb on very little notice or advance planning. Chicago, a sanctuary city, has received buses from Texas and Arizona to ease the Biden border crisis.


Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is having a meltdown over the buses arriving in Chicago. Her city is the nation’s third largest and yet she acts as though a small number of new arrivals to Chicago will be too much of a burden for city resources. She sent 64 illegal migrants to Burr Ridge, Illinois last week after a bus filled with 147 migrants arrived in Chicago. Now a second suburb has received illegal migrants and the mayor said enough is enough.

Ninety illegal migrants were bussed to a motel in Elk Grove Village. Mayor Johnson received about an hour’s notice of the arrival and no other information.

Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson told Fox News Digital that he received a phone call from Pritzker’s office on Sept. 9, informing him that a “migrant bus” would be arriving in his town that same evening.

However, when Johnson pressed the governor’s office for details such as how many migrants are coming and what hotel they are going to, no details were available. When asked if the migrants had gone through health screenings and background checks, the governor’s office also had no answer.

Then, according to Johnson, the governor’s office called back on the evening of Sept. 9 at around 5:00 p.m. and said that 90 migrants would be arriving at around 6:30 p.m. When asked if the migrants went through background checks and health screenings, the governor’s office allegedly said “we don’t have those.”


Mayor Johnson said he would not allow the migrants off the bus without background checks and health screenings. He said he would provide them with food and water. “I’m sworn to protect the health, safety, welfare of this community,” Johnson said. “Until those questions are answered, I will not allow them to get off the bus here,” Johnson recalled telling the representative from the governor’s office.

So, the bus was delayed a day while officials scrambled for some answers to the mayor’s questions. State officials placed the blame on Governor Abbott for sending the bus to Chicago from Texas. Because, of course they did.

Johnson asked a perfectly legit question – why are migrants being bussed to suburbs like Elk Grove Village rather than remaining in Chicago, a large city with far more resources available to cope with them? An Illinois government employee allegedly told the mayor that the Chicago Marathon is coming up and the city needs the hotel rooms. The Chicago Marathon is scheduled for October 9, a month out from when this was happening.

Mayor Johnson was able to have a conference call with representatives from the State of Illinois and the federal government. They assured him that the migrants had gone through security screenings and health checks.


The illegal migrants arrived on September 10 on Chicago Transit Authority buses. They were taken to a La Quinta Hotel. Lightfoot called Johnson on Sunday and apologized for the “misunderstanding” and told him that the City of Chicago had nothing to do with it. “As a matter of fact, I was a little upset when I heard Chicago buses were used,” Lightfoot allegedly said, as Johnson recalled. She actually complained that state officials haven’t been “very open with me either.” Johnson offered to work with Lightfoot to help the illegal migrants.

Johnson wants an apology for his community.

“We don’t play those petty games. But to insult us, that we’re either being racist or we’re being uncaring. That is insulting,” Johnson said. “The governor owes our community an apology, and I’ll be waiting to hear that.”

Johnson also said that Governor Pritzker “doesn’t seem to be able to embrace” doing government in an “open and informative” manner.

Don’t hold your breath, Mayor.

On Monday, suburban mayors called for better communication and coordination with Chicago and state government officials. Lightfoot agreed to work with the mayors. Mayor Johnson pointed out the hypocrisy of Illinois officials for criticizing Governor Abbott yet turning around and doing the same thing to Chicago suburbs. He noted that dozens of cars were waiting for the illegal migrants at the hotel, including some with out of state license plates. Apparently not everyone was left in the dark about the arrival of the illegal migrants.


Burr Ridge Mayor Gary Grasso also criticized the hypocrisy in play. He said that Lightfoot called him and said that he should have been given some notice of the arriving bus of illegal migrants from Chicago.

The governor’s first response to Mayor Grasso’s complaints was to call him xenophobic. Then he blamed Governor Abbott.

Initially, the governor’s office issued a statement in response to Grasso, saying that “xenophobia has no home here.”

At a news conference Monday, Pritzker explained that the state had very little notice from Texas, and had to almost immediately find shelter, food and medical care for the arrivals. The hotels were chosen, he said, simply because they had vacancies and were able to arrange accommodations quickly.

“We give notice as fast as we can,” he said.

“The governor of Texas needs to stop sowing chaos and needs to work with states” he said. Pritzker said the immigrants also must be transported willingly, “because otherwise it’s kidnapping.”

Democrats blame everyone but the ones that shoulder the responsibility. It is Biden’s border crisis and DHS’s failure to secure the southern border that caused the necessity of Governors Abbott and Ducey to bus illegal migrants outside of Texas and Arizona. Migrants know that they will not be turned away. Now they are receiving free transportation to whatever city they wish to travel to in the United States. It’s intentional on this administration’s part and there is no desire by Biden to change anything.


Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on HotAir Videos