Multiple news sources recently reported that in September, U.S. border agents processed more than 200,000 migrants who crossed into the United States illegally. That’s an average of over 6,600 people per day. The actual number is much higher!
As the southern U.S. border crisis continues to consume and overwhelm available resources in border states like Texas and Arizona, desperate state leaders are doing everything they can to handle the influx of illegal immigrants. Part of their response is to send migrants to states that have declared themselves “Sanctuary States.” Illinois is one of those states.
Illinois became a sanctuary state when Democrat lawmakers passed the TRUST Act in 2017. This law prohibits Illinois law enforcement agencies from cooperating with federal immigration authorities to detain or deport illegal immigrants. State programs offering free healthcare, driver’s licenses, and housing assistance to illegal immigrants also lure undocumented people to Illinois. When you consider that our Governor uses a national stage to proclaim Illinois’ status as a welcoming state for all, regardless of immigration status, is it any wonder that illegal immigrants are being sent by the busload to Chicago?
According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, recent data show there are more than 628,000 illegal immigrants in Illinois. Thousands are living at police stations, O’Hare Airport, and other locations as suburban shelters try to make room for them. In an effort to help offset costs, the Pritzker Administration made $42.5 million in grant funds available to communities that would assist in providing food and shelter to migrants. The City of Chicago received $30.25 million, and Joliet Township, the City of Elgin, Lake County, the City of Urbana, and the Village of Oak Park received smaller allocations of the grant funds.
Unfortunately, the influx of undocumented individuals is not limited to these areas. Other communities, including some in the 45th District, are also being impacted by the migrant crisis.
A communication was sent recently to Freeport School District 145 parents, guardians, and staff alerting them to an increase in new students from Central America, many of whom speak little to no English. Click here to read that letter.
Superintendent Dr. Anna Alvarado explained that the district is working with the bilingual department and other departments to address these children’s educational and emotional needs. The district is also working to connect the students and families with other available support systems while trying their best to ensure their basic needs are met.
Dr. Alvarado said there is an unprecedented demand for language interpretation, translation, and other services, which is understandable. But these services come at a cost, and it is the taxpayers of District 145 who are footing most of the bill. According to the most recent school report card for the Freeport School District (2022-2023 school year), the average spending per pupil is around $20,000. The state makes it very difficult to identify the exact cost of educating illegal immigrants and others benefitting from open border policies. However, the cost to the Freeport taxpayers is certainly in the millions. This also holds true for other Northwest Illinois communities.
As illegal immigrants continue to arrive in Chicago, this crisis will only get worse. Governor Pritzker and Democrats loyal to him own this issue because the flow of illegal immigrants into our state is a direct response to policies they adopted. They rolled out the welcome mat for illegal immigrants with no regard for the mammoth costs involved. Now it’s up to them to figure out how to care, house, feed, and educate them without siphoning money away from Illinois citizens who pay taxes and live legally in this state.