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NYC grabs lion’s share of federal migrant aid money

Wednesday, Jun 7, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Gov. Pritzker was asked earlier today about state funding of Chicago’s effort to deal with asylum seekers

I’ve seen and met with the mayor many times. And more importantly, my staff and his staff have been meeting. I would say it probably averages out to three times a week, talking about a variety of issues, but importantly, how to manage the asylum seekers that are coming to our city to our state, and where the resources will come from.

We both agree, of course, that the federal government needs to step up here. They have dollars that have been allocated in the budget from prior legislation that was passed at the federal level for asylum seekers in the states. And so we’re anticipating being able to get more of those dollars. They only issued checks, essentially, for a small amount so far. But there’s much more that’s available. I think the total program [is] potentially $800 million for the country. So we intend to get our fair share of that.

And then, of course, the state, I want to remind everybody, people always focus on whether the state is funding the city. Remember, the state is spending money for the city with our resources, our staff, our Department of Human Services. And so it isn’t like, well, we’re not supporting the efforts in Chicago. In fact, we are putting forward a multiple of the money that the city of Chicago has put forward in order to help the city of Chicago to manage this crisis.

Interestingly, I think you’ve all seen, there are many, many fewer asylum seekers that have come into the United States since May 11. I think that’s surprising to many people, but the Biden administration knew what it was doing in managing it. And so we anticipate, although they’ve emptied out shelters in Texas to send them initially after May 11, but the truth is that there are fewer and fewer migrants that are coming across the border. And therefore we anticipate, at some point, a drop in the number that will be coming to Illinois.

* The governor’s optimism about the federal government earlier today turns out to be false hope. New York City just got a huge amount of federal money. Chicago? Not so much

New York City is set to receive $104.6 million in federal funds to help cover the cost of providing services to asylum-seekers, two of the state’s highest ranking elected officials said Wednesday.

The injection of cash comes as more than 72,000 migrants have passed through the city since last spring, with more than 44,000 currently in the city’s care.

“Today’s funds represent a strong step in the right direction — which better recognizes and rewards New York City’s unique challenge,” Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) said in a joint statement. […]

The city’s $104.6 allocation through the new federal Shelter and Services Program, however, constitutes around 30 percent of the money announced Wednesday and is much larger than payments to other cities. A person with knowledge of the allocations told POLITICO San Diego would be receiving $15 million and Chicago $10 million.

Thanks, Sen. Durbin.

To be fair, NYC has had to deal with far more asylum seekers than Chicago. 72,000 vs. more than 8,000. And, hopefully, the easing crisis at the border will continue.



  1. - Almost the Weekend - Wednesday, Jun 7, 23 @ 2:28 pm:

    From the lead pipes to migrants, what exactly is Durbin doing in Washington DC? Seems his time is up.

  2. - DuPage Saint - Wednesday, Jun 7, 23 @ 2:40 pm:

    I sound like a broken record when it comes to Durbin but please tell me what US Senator with his length of device and his position in his party has done less for his home state? He has done less with more power than anyone.

  3. - Nuke The Whales - Wednesday, Jun 7, 23 @ 2:44 pm:

    So all the money went to New York City, which in addition to receiving substantially more people, is also represented by the Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the one person who out-ranks Durbin in the caucus? To the commenters here and in past mentions of the Senator, how is this some glaring knock on Dick Durbin?

  4. - NIU Grad - Wednesday, Jun 7, 23 @ 2:45 pm:

    Daydreaming about the primary challenge to Durbin…not happy I have to wait until 2026.

  5. - Google Is Your Friend - Wednesday, Jun 7, 23 @ 2:55 pm:

    It’s about $200 more per migrant for NYC based on the stats in the post.

  6. - The Opinions Bureau - Wednesday, Jun 7, 23 @ 2:59 pm:

    I guess the senator was too busy having his latest strongly-worded letter to Chief Justice Roberts ignored.

  7. - Roadrager - Wednesday, Jun 7, 23 @ 2:59 pm:

    Sen. Durbin will work to bring more federal migrant aid to Chicago just as soon as he can round up 15 Republican Senators to agree to it in principle.

  8. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 7, 23 @ 3:03 pm:

    Durbin has failed to deliver for Illinois.

    Durbin’s political acumen lost him the Majority Leader gig (albeit to his friend) and nearly cost him his #2 role while trying to chair a committee too

    Durbin has lost any semblance of hierarchy in Illinois Democratic Party politics, with arguably the most ignorant understanding of leverage, power, and compromise, where in the end Durbin losing to Pritzker reinforced the “out of touch” label Durbin tries to push back on when he visits Illinois.

    I will be interested in how a primary may go.

    If it’s Alexi v Durbin, it’s still Durbin… all day.

  9. - The Opinions Bureau - Wednesday, Jun 7, 23 @ 3:07 pm:

    Correction, having his latest strongly-worded letter to Harlan Crow ignored.

  10. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 7, 23 @ 3:14 pm:

    ===how is this some glaring knock on Dick Durbin?===

    You want all the Durbin losses chronologically or alphabetically?

  11. - DMC - Wednesday, Jun 7, 23 @ 3:35 pm:

    Agreed Oswego Willy. Durbin is what makes me want term limits. Bring something home just once!

  12. - Sue - Wednesday, Jun 7, 23 @ 3:37 pm:

    What usually comes from JB one has to ask- who are you going to believe me or your lying eyes?

  13. - ChicagoVinny - Wednesday, Jun 7, 23 @ 4:40 pm:

    Durbin was too busy doing nothing heading up Judiciary and recently trying and failing to get Vallas elected.

  14. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Jun 7, 23 @ 4:56 pm:

    ==To be fair, NYC has had to deal with far more asylum seekers than Chicago.==

    New York has received about 10x more migrants and they got about 10x as much money. Not clear how this is a failure. Also, we have two Senators and 17 Representatives (two serve on Approps).

    I get that a couple of Congresscritters from NY are claiming victory, but without knowing how FEMA allocated the funds it’s not clear if lobbying for dollars was effective. (For example, a proportional formula based on the number of migrants and local housing costs may have been applied.)

  15. - Lincoln Lad - Wednesday, Jun 7, 23 @ 6:38 pm:

    I was done with Durbin when he endorsed Vallas. Final straw for me.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Pritzker says state has settled labor dispute at migrant tent city
* *** UPDATED x4 - Coverage roundup - Reporters received report before governor - Report finds high levels of mercury in soil - Report released to reporters *** After stonewalling governor’s office, city finally shares pollution report on migrant tent city
* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Afternoon roundup
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Some campaign updates
* Citing 'delays' in Chicago's procurement process, Pritzker announces $2 million to feed asylum seekers
* Union says Pritzker office intervention at least temporarily prevented likely construction shutdown at migrant camp
* Today's quotable
* Not-for-profits at risk as state funding nears end
* Illinois Supreme Court again cites the plain language of a law to overturn lower court's ruling
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
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