CHICAGO — Governor JB Pritzker said the state of Illinois has spent $328 million to help manage Chicago’s migrant crisis and he’s calling on the federal government to pitch in.
Pritzker said on Thursday he has concerns about the $29 million “base camp” planned to house the migrants currently living in Chicago police stations, but the governor didn’t publicly explain what his concerns are.
The City of Chicago has received more than 15,000 migrants. Some pointing to Republican governors for sending migrants to Chicago, but the democratic mayor of El Paso, Texas, chartered two buses of migrants to the city last weekend.
Gov. Pritzker responded to democratic mayor of El Paso sending migrants to Chicago:
“[He] needs to listen to the cities that he’s sending folks to and start thinking about whether or not this should be spread across the country. Why is he not sending anybody to Idaho, Wyoming?”
Gov. Pritzker’s concerns drew swift reaction from Mayor Brandon Johnson’s City Council floor leader, Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, who tweeted:
“This is particularly ludicrous coming from JB given that lack of meaningful support from the State of Illinois has pushed the city in this direction. New York state has opened multiple migrant shelters. The State of Illinois operates ZERO shelters. ZERO. Open some shelters JB!”
The state said it’s working on one shelter. The governor’s office stated it had plans for that shelter dating back to the Lightfoot administration, but the city didn’t take the state up on its offer until a few weeks ago.
The Illinois governor also stated that he has spoken with the Department of Homeland Security and the White House to seek assistance.