WILL COUNTY, Ill. — Millions of dollars in grants obtained by Joliet Township is drawing criticism from some city officials.
Last week, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker’s administration announced Joliet Township would receive $8.6 million in grants to provide housing and services to asylum seekers from Central and South America.
Since late August, over 17,000 migrants have been bussed from Texas to Illinois. Many of them have been sleeping at Chicago police stations and shelters.
A spokesperson for Joliet Mayor Terry D’Arcy said the mayor and other decision-makers in the city did not approve or have knowledge of the grant request, which was made by Joliet Township Supervisor Angel Contreras.
The township operates independently from the City of Joliet.
“If the township accepts this grant and individuals arrive in our city, it will be a tremendous strain and overtaxing our existing infrastructure impacting our Joliet School System, social services, public and private health resources and public safety,” Mayor D’Arcy said in a statement.
D’Arcy also asked Contreras to rescind the grant application.
Contreras has made no comments about the grant or responded to inquiries from WGN TV News about his part in securing the money to help migrants.
WGN TV News has also reached out to the Joliet Township Trustees for comment and is still awaiting a response.