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Pritzker sends president a letter consenting to receive refugees

Tuesday, Dec 17, 2019 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Capitol News Illinois

Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Monday he fully supports allowing refugees to resettle in Illinois, and he is expected to sign a letter to the Trump administration to that effect in the coming days.

Such a letter of consent is now required from state and local officials under an executive order that President Donald Trump issued earlier this year. Under that order, state and local officials have until Dec. 25 to issue written statements of consent.

“As the great grandson of a Jewish refugee from Ukraine, the president’s attacks on immigrant families are deeply personal to me,” Pritzker said in an email statement. “I will always embrace refugees with open arms, and under my administration Illinois will always be a welcoming state that values the contributions immigrants make in our society.”

* Press release…

Recognizing the countless contributions refugees make in the state of Illinois and across our nation, Governor JB Pritzker wrote a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to welcome refugees to Illinois.

“As the Governor of Illinois, I proudly consent to the continuation of refugee admission to our state and extend a warm welcome to refugees who have come and will be coming to Illinois,” writes Gov. Pritzker in the Dec. 17 letter.

The Governor’s letter follows an executive order from President Trump aimed at turning refugees away. The Dec. 17 letter reads as follows and a copy is attached:

Honorable Secretary Pompeo,

Since 1975, the State of Illinois has welcomed and resettled more than 130,000 refugees from more than 86 countries. In recent years, 1,000 to 3,000 refugees, those seeking asylum, and victims of human trafficking arrived in Illinois annually. Refugees have successfully rebuilt their lives and made positive social and economic contributions to Illinois. They have helped revitalize neighborhoods and added to the cultural vitality of our state and communities.

As the Governor of Illinois and the great-grandson of refugees, I am committed to ensuring that Illinois is a welcoming state, especially for refugees and those seeking asylum. As survivors of persecution, refugees embody the importance of human rights, democracy, and freedom. Refugees’ resilience in the face of hardship inspires courage, hope, and perseverance. And refugees’ countless contributions undoubtedly make our states and nation stronger.

Importantly, refugees admitted through the United States must go through extensive security screening prior to their arrival. This process ensures that their claims are valid and that they are not a security risk to the United States. The security vetting can last more than two years and includes five background checks, four biometric security checks, and multiple interviews with United States officials. Once admitted to the United States, refugees are required to become self-sufficient and integrated into their new communities as soon as possible.

The New American Economy’s report From Struggle to Resilience, the Economic Impact of Refugees in America and the National Bureau of Economic Research’s report The Economic and Social Outcomes of Refugees in the U.S. have documented that:

    * Refugees pay $21,000 more in taxes than they receive in benefits on average in their first 20 years in the U.S.
    * Refugee rates of entrepreneurship (15%) exceed other immigrants (11.5%) as well as U.S. born (9%).
    * Refugees become citizens at a higher rate than non-refugee immigrants. In 2015, 84% of eligible refugees were naturalized citizens as compared to 51% of other immigrants.
    * Refugee children do as well as U.S.-born children on measures of education attainment.
    Over 77% of refugees are of working age as compared to 49.7% of the U.S.-born population, helping to meet U.S. labor force needs.

Illinois communities have clearly benefited from having refugees in our midst. We coordinate with the U.S. State Department and the Office of Refugee Resettlement, as well as the non-profit sector, to make sure that local communities are consulted and engaged in an on-going, positive effort to welcome refugees and ensure that refugees can realize their full potential in our country.

With a global humanitarian crisis of more than 70 million forcibly displaced individuals, including 25 million who are refugees seeking asylum, the United States should continue to provide leadership, in partnership with other countries, to offer resettlement for refugees. Our nation has the capacity to admit significantly more than the 18,000-person limit set by the presidential determination for FY20. I believe it is in our national interest and consistent with our national values to do so.

As the Governor of Illinois, I proudly consent to the continuation of refugee admission to our state and extend a warm welcome to refugees who have come and will be coming to Illinois.


JB Pritzker


  1. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Tuesday, Dec 17, 19 @ 2:29 pm:

    Many of the refugees bring their skills from their occupations with them. It good to see them get a fresh start and help Illinois .

  2. - SpfdNewb - Tuesday, Dec 17, 19 @ 2:38 pm:

    Tbh, kinda surprised not seeing a quote from “The New Colossus” in this letter.

  3. - Dotnonymous - Tuesday, Dec 17, 19 @ 2:39 pm:

    I like Governor Pritzker…more with every passing day…for sure.

    All of my Grandparents were immigrants…and thought themselves lucky to live in America…The Land of the Free.

  4. - NIU Grad - Tuesday, Dec 17, 19 @ 2:44 pm:

    Let’s see which Trumpian legislators stand against this publicly…

  5. - let em in - Tuesday, Dec 17, 19 @ 2:58 pm:

    As a cuckasoid I support every refugee and immigrant coming to America and Illinois as long as they are not from Europe.

  6. - Cubs in '16 - Tuesday, Dec 17, 19 @ 3:00 pm:

    The news story says a letter of consent is required from state AND local officials. Does Pritzker’s letter suffice?

  7. - Tim - Tuesday, Dec 17, 19 @ 3:03 pm:

    Well, he needs to replace all of the taxpayers that are leaving, though something tells me the ones that are leaving pay more taxes than the ones that are coming.

  8. - Earnest - Tuesday, Dec 17, 19 @ 3:04 pm:

    Great letter. Skips the petty political sniping.
    Strong argument based on facts. Strong argument based on values. Appropriate coming from the Land of Lincoln.

  9. - Moe Berg - Tuesday, Dec 17, 19 @ 3:05 pm:

    Bravo, Governor. Contra D.C. this is what moral leadership looks like.

    Both the Old and New Testaments instruct that foreigners (in their terminology) are to be treated with decency and compassion.

    Perhaps the only thing I’ll thank Trump for is exposing once and for all how phony the political right’s proclaimed Christianity is. They worship mammon and Trump is its perfect embodiment.

  10. - Blue Dog Dem - Tuesday, Dec 17, 19 @ 3:07 pm:

    I am all for legal immigration.

  11. - Hamlet's Ghost - Tuesday, Dec 17, 19 @ 3:09 pm:

    @Cubs in ‘16

    == The news story says a letter of consent is required from state AND local officials. ==

    Will we see local IL governments deliberate on this, similar to the marijuana “opt in / opt out” issue?

  12. - Cubs in '16 - Tuesday, Dec 17, 19 @ 3:13 pm:

    ===Will we see local IL governments deliberate on this, similar to the marijuana “opt in / opt out” issue?===

    Letters are due by Christmas. That only leaves a week or so for deliberations.

  13. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Tuesday, Dec 17, 19 @ 3:13 pm:

    ==though something tells me the ones that are leaving pay more taxes than the ones that are coming.==

    That something didn’t read the statistics above I take it.

  14. - Nick Name - Tuesday, Dec 17, 19 @ 3:21 pm:

    So proud of our governor. This is leadership.

  15. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, Dec 17, 19 @ 3:27 pm:

    I am so happy we elected him.

  16. - OneMan - Tuesday, Dec 17, 19 @ 3:39 pm:


  17. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Tuesday, Dec 17, 19 @ 3:57 pm:

    == This will be one additional item to push more and more long time residents out of this state.==
    How would that work?

  18. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Tuesday, Dec 17, 19 @ 4:09 pm:

    let em in what do you have against Europeans?

  19. - LakeCo - Tuesday, Dec 17, 19 @ 4:10 pm:

    =Dot, almost all of our grandparents and great grandparents were immigrants. Legal immigrants.= Love this argument. It’s almost as good as the “Jesus and Mary were legal immigrants to Nazareth” argument. FYI, all of our ancestors were legal immigrants because the concept of “illegal immigration” didn’t exist at all until the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the National Origins Act of 1924 (the first time new immigrants were required to have visas). Educate yourself a little bit before you post, why don’t you.

  20. - Birds on the Bat - Tuesday, Dec 17, 19 @ 4:21 pm:

    @LakeCo - Condescend a little more, why don’t you. smh.

  21. - Fixer - Tuesday, Dec 17, 19 @ 4:34 pm:

    Anonymous, if that’s what causes folks who think like that to leave, good riddance. Don’t let the door hit y’all on the way out.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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