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City wants state to ’shift existing budget allocations’ for migrants

Friday, Oct 6, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Tribune

Mayor Brandon Johnson’s administration is exploring unspecified backup plans should it not hit its goal of setting up tent base camps for new asylum-seekers before winter, a top deputy said Thursday while also pushing back at comments from Gov. J.B. Pritzker that more state funds for migrant services aren’t going to be made available anytime soon. […]

Asked about the governor’s comments, Pacione-Zayas, a former state senator, responded: “We have to continue to educate the General Assembly about this critical point that we’re in.” […]

Pacione-Zayas added that the mayor’s administration has begun meeting with individual state legislators and will ask the state to look for ways to shift existing budget allocations toward an additional migrant appropriation for Chicago, which has taken on the brunt of the new arrivals in Illinois.

If by saying “shift existing budget allocations,” she’s saying “city demands state budget cuts,” then I cannot wait to see that list of cuts.

However, there have already been some shifts. The governor’s full response to the question

As you know, we balanced the budget for this year, and it isn’t as if we’re coming in with, you know, enormous surpluses. And we always have things that are, you know, an opportunity for us to be of assistance. This is not something where we have hundreds of millions of dollars to support.

But remember, we’ve gone above and beyond. We’ve taken some of the programs that have pre-existed this crisis and sort of adjusted them to help with the migrant crisis. Let me give you one example, our Rental Assistance Program, which is very important for helping people [with] the ability to pay their rent. We have provided some of that rental assistance money, which wasn’t originally intended to be about asylum-seekers, for this challenge.

Diverting that money bolsters the argument by Black and Latino activists, who claim that the asylum-seekers are drawing down critical state funding for people who are already here.

* Back to the Tribune story

While she said she would continue to advocate for a federal solution, Preckwinkle said “the state needs to step up as well, because $42.5 million barely covers the city’s costs for a month,” she said, describing the sum that the state recently announced in awards to local governments as a “drop in the bucket.”

This ain’t the pandemic. Money isn’t falling from Uncle Sam’s tree.

* NBC 5 has the numbers as of yesterday

• Total awaiting placement: 3,199

    o 2,382 waiting in CPD districts, 804 at O’Hare, and 13 at Midway.

• New Arrivals Numbers:

    o Chicago has received over 17,000 new arrivals since the mission began.
    o 357 Buses has arrived in Chicago Since, August 31, 2022
    o 256 Buses have arrived in Chicago since Jan 1, 2023
    o 247 Buses have arrived in Chicago since May 12, 2023

* OK, let’s move along. Background is here if you need it. Robert McCoppin writes about the state’s smallish grants to suburban communities to help them deal with migrants

In Lake County, social service agencies reported serving nearly 2,000 asylum-seekers in the last year. State grants of $1 million were to go to three local immigrant aid agencies.

“They’re already here, they are coming to the suburbs,” Mano a Mano Executive Director Dulce Ortiz said. “That’s why we’re so grateful for this funding, because they’re already here and we are meeting their needs.” […]

In Elgin, which was awarded $1.27 million, Mayor David Kaptain said some residents have raised similar concerns. […]

Dianha Ortega-Ehreth, executive director of the Centro de Informacion in Elgin, said her group has been helping a rising number of immigrants.

The number of clients who entered the U.S. in the past year quadrupled to almost 300 in the past fiscal year, she said.

Go read the rest.

* Related…

    * Migrant Crisis Escalates as Johnson Administration Struggles to Identify Locations for Tents: No alderperson has publicly volunteered to have the base camps built in their wards, and efforts by the Johnson administration to open new shelters in facilities like Chicago Park District fieldhouses have faced concerted opposition from residents. Since Sept. 8, when Johnson announced his plan to shelter migrants in massive tents, the number of new arrivals in Chicago has grown by more than 25%, according to city data.

    * As Winter Looms, Venezuelan Migrant Surge Overwhelms Chicago: Some residents feel the city has been too accommodating. Deaundre Miguel Jones, 47, said he had watched with exasperation as the police station in his Old Town neighborhood turned into a place where migrants sleep on cots indoors and outside in camping tents. “These people are eating well — they have better phones than I do, better shoes,” Mr. Jones said, sitting outside his apartment complex. Chicago officials, he said, are doing more to help migrants than they are people who have lived in the city for years. “How are you going to take care of someone else when you’re not even taking care of your own people?” he said.

    * CPS parents offer support, community to new-arrival migrant students at Greeley Elementary: A group of CPS parents at a Lake View school are supporting new-arrivals in their community with school supplies and other necessities. The Greeley Elementary School community is growing. Chicago Public Schools confirms 115 new students are enrolled this year. “They have been very nice to me and I like them and they help me speak a different language,” Greeley student Scarlett Tague said. … “Building relationships to actually make a community that makes a difference we’ve seen so much growth in the last year,” said Joey Yuen, Greenly Elementary PTO member. “It’s helped us to see opportunities at every corner.”

    * Chicago residents to protest proposed migrant shelter: A new shelter for migrants could open in Galewood on the northwest side very soon, but the city is not sure of the exact date. … “The thing that we’re most concerned about is our children, our Black children, the football, the soccer, and all the things that they do, and trying to be constructive citizens. And now they’re going to take this part beautiful part and give it to migrants,” said resident Brooksy Cribs. “Don’t get me wrong, I understand the situation, but that’s not on us.” A community organizer said residents will be staging a protest at the park at 5:30 Friday evening.

    * Fox News: Chicago youth football program kicked out of facilities to make room for migrant housing: Chicago resident Dwayne Truss and alderman Chris Taliaferro join ‘FOX & Friends’ to discuss the community’s outrage after more than 600 residents attended a protest against a new migrant shelter that will displace youth programs.

    * O’Hare Airport Shelter Fills Up As More Migrants Come To Chicago By Plane: Nearly 830 migrants are staying at the airport — more than double the number of people who were staying there just a week ago. The city is also seeing a record number of buses arrive.

    * City seeks donations — and ideas — to provide for migrants as temperatures drop: “Given the fact that we have a change of seasons, we want to make sure that we have donations that are adequate for that with the winter coming,” Pacione-Zayas said during a virtual briefing with reporters.

       

18 Comments
  1. - Chicago - Friday, Oct 6, 23 @ 12:19 pm:

    On the bright side…this influx of migrants could mean that Chicago’s population won’t decrease!


  2. - levivotedforjudy - Friday, Oct 6, 23 @ 12:33 pm:

    I wonder what counts as a legit reason to dip into the “Rainy Day” fund?


  3. - Sue - Friday, Oct 6, 23 @ 12:37 pm:

    Unless I misread it I believe JB told Brandon as reported in Politico today- the State has provided all the funds it can and Chicago is on its own in terms of migrant costs


  4. - Rich Miller - Friday, Oct 6, 23 @ 12:37 pm:

    ===I wonder what counts as a legit reason to dip into the “Rainy Day” fund?===

    You only do that with the full knowledge that your credit rating is gonna drop. And what happens if the deluge doesn’t stop?


  5. - Rich Miller - Friday, Oct 6, 23 @ 12:39 pm:

    ===as reported in Politico today===

    Wasn’t in today’s or yesterday’s. I just checked. Not sure where you got that.


  6. - David - Friday, Oct 6, 23 @ 12:40 pm:

    @Chicago - I’ve been thinking the same thing as well. With the influx of migrants and refugees to mostly Democratic Cities & States (New York, Illinois, Colorado) - Republicans (unintendedly) may just be doing Democratic States a favor by helping to bolster their population (which as we know is important when it comes to redistricting and congressional allocations).


  7. - JB13 - Friday, Oct 6, 23 @ 12:52 pm:

    – With the influx of migrants and refugees to mostly Democratic Cities & States –

    Myopic. Plenty of migrants will also stay in Texas, Florida, Arizona, etc.

    You can’t really believe nearly every migrant is being suctioned up at the border, put on a bus, and driven to Chicago and New York


  8. - JS Mill - Friday, Oct 6, 23 @ 12:58 pm:

    =Republicans (unintendedly) may just be doing Democratic States a favor by helping to bolster their population=

    They are, unfortunately not enough people realize this. These are folks fleeing from violence, poverty, hunger, and oppression looking for a new start. Sound familiar? It is the same story we have lived going back to the 16th century.

    We have a dearth of people looking to do the hard work these days. That has traditionally been the path for immigrants and I am sure these folks would be happy to fill it.

    To the post, the state can find more money, but Chicago can shift TIF money and other funds too. You fund what you think is important.


  9. - Sue - Friday, Oct 6, 23 @ 12:59 pm:

    Sorry Rich. Article is in Tribune written by Dan Patrella- posted Oct 5. It’s on the app on line articles


  10. - Sue - Friday, Oct 6, 23 @ 1:05 pm:

    The Statement JB gave as to the lack of more funding for migrants was in the Oct 5 Tribune article posted by Dan Patrella- JB commented it’s not like we have large surplus’s


  11. - Back to the Future - Friday, Oct 6, 23 @ 1:09 pm:

    Is it too late to shift the 500 million from the Chinese factory investment to helping these new Chicago residents?


  12. - lake county democrat - Friday, Oct 6, 23 @ 1:14 pm:

    Putting aside the political debate, here’s a link from a Sun-Times article on how to help the migrants privatel (Amazon wishlist from the Instituto del Progresso)
    https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/WRKGTBXKDJ6Q/ref=hz_ls_biz_ex

    Sun-Times referral and other links here: https://chicago.suntimes.com/2023/5/6/23711710/help-immigrants-migrants-shelter-asylum-chicago


  13. - It's always Sunny in Illinois - Friday, Oct 6, 23 @ 1:17 pm:

    You only do that with the full knowledge that your credit rating is gonna drop. And what happens if the deluge doesn’t stop

    There is nothing to indicate there is going to be any slowdown, read where Biden administration is hoping flow will slow down with cooler weather, great strategy.
    Another 2.4 MM in fiscal year 2024 and there will be a Red Tsunami in November 2024 elections.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 6, 23 @ 1:26 pm:

    ===and there will be a Red Tsunami in November 2024 elections.===

    Women will be reminded that Republicans are dangerous to women’s health, and what will again be misunderstood is “why don’t people vote on immigration?” when women will be reminded that all over the country their own rights and existing choices are based on Republican power.

    See, I can speculate on an election too.

    The republicans want the political angle with no want to a policy solution.

    Biden stated wall work is coming (without pretending Mexico will pay, to fool the rubes). Republicans still see women’s choices as “something to control”


  15. - LastModDemStanding - Friday, Oct 6, 23 @ 1:29 pm:

    == On the bright side…this influx of migrants could mean that Chicago’s population won’t decrease!==

    Assuming everyone stays in Chicago. I wouldn’t be surprised if some new arrivals from South America (Venezuela, Colombia) head towards warmer pastures and where there is an existing diaspora once they have a legal status (ie. South Florida).


  16. - TNR - Friday, Oct 6, 23 @ 2:17 pm:

    If the city “ask” is to shift existing budget allocations that were already specifically earmarked for Chicago, maybe they have an outside shot. Shifting anything else is a pipe dream.

    Doing any kind of appropriation bill during veto session is fraught with problems — even if extra cash exists. Once such a bill gets moving, lots and lots of requests for add-ons emerge. I doubt the speaker and senate prez want to deal with that.


  17. - Pundent - Friday, Oct 6, 23 @ 3:27 pm:

    =Republicans still see women’s choices as “something to control”=

    There’s a lot of things Republican’s want to control these days. What books you can read, how history gets taught, what laws can be disregarded, who you can love, and maybe even where you report for work. A very stilted view of freedom if you ask me. So I agree that predictions of a red wave might be a bit premature.


  18. - DuPage - Friday, Oct 6, 23 @ 4:06 pm:

    Mayor Johnson, Buy or rent the 4 Walmart stores in Chicago that recently closed. They have heat and AC, fire alarms, electricity, washrooms, etc.

    Also, the Catholic schools have offered the use of vacant school buildings for free. Unless you accept help from them, don’t demand more money from the state. We understand you dislike them because they are a non-union competitor to CPS, but you should set aside your differences to deal with this pending humanitarian disaster.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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