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Outline of Pritzker’s $160 million migrant plan emerges

Thursday, Nov 16, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

…Adding… The governor’s press release is here. It’s worth a read.

* Subscribers know more. No direct money to Chicago. These graphics were given to reporters this morning…

* Crain’s

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Thursday the state is providing an additional $160 million to help care for the thousands of migrants arriving in the state and awaiting shelter space in Chicago.

The $160 million will be provided in three buckets: $30 million to create a “large intake and welcome center” at an undisclosed location, $65 million to help Chicago establish a tent base camp to provide shelter for up to 2,000 people at a time and another $65 million to help coordinate the resettlement of migrants, including rental assistance. […]

State officials hope that devoting more resources to the point of entry for buses carrying migrants from border states will provide better coordination for where migrants are sent in Chicago and assist those who have a sponsor, are seeking to go elsewhere or who may have family they are seeking to connect with. […]

Pritzker previously said this fall the state was unlikely to continue providing assistance to Chicago, but state officials said Thursday the $160 million would be taken from the budget of the Illinois Department of Human Services for emergency response and did not require a vote by the General Assembly, which is not set to meet again until January.


State lawmakers didn’t explicitly authorize this level of funding to handle the flood of new migrants, but Abudayyeh said the state has authority within the Illinois Department of Human Services budget to reallocate dollars.

If additional funding is needed, she said, that could be dealt with when the General Assembly is next scheduled to return to Springfield in mid-January.

Prior to today’s $160 million commitment, the state has spent $478 million on the migrant crisis during the past fiscal year and the 2024 fiscal year, which ends next June, she said.


The plan outlined by state officials calls for $65 million to be used to erect a temporary “soft-sided” shelter that could house some of the more than 2,400 migrants living in police stations across the city and at O’Hare International Airport waiting for a bed to open up in a city shelter, according to city data updated Wednesday morning.

No location has been identified for that shelter, which will house as many as 2,000 people, officials said. […]

Pritzker’s announcement came just hours after Mayor Brandon Johnson announced migrants in city shelters will be limited to no more than 60 days in city shelters. In addition, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle asked commissioners to earmark $100 million to help confront the crisis facing Chicago as part of Cook County’s 2024 budget, which is set for approval Thursday.

That plan calls for $70 million to be used by the county’s health system to care for the migrants, with $20 million set aside for suburbs to care for migrants. Oak Park launched an effort to do that in recent weeks, and officials hope more will follow suit. The remaining $10 million will be held in reserve, in an effort to allow county officials to respond to unanticipated disasters in 2024, officials said.

The governor is speaking now. We’ll have updates soon.

…Adding… More…


  1. - Ares - Thursday, Nov 16, 23 @ 10:27 am:

    Is it feasible to settle migrants in rural parts of Illinois, especially in light of years of population losses?

  2. - George - Thursday, Nov 16, 23 @ 10:50 am:

    @Ares if there’s Joba available, it’s an idea. But there’s also a reason you’ve had years of population loss.

  3. - City Zen - Thursday, Nov 16, 23 @ 11:17 am:

    ==Is it feasible to settle migrants in rural parts of Illinois==

    Why travel that far? Harvey has also experienced years of population losses.

  4. - LastModDemStanding - Thursday, Nov 16, 23 @ 11:19 am:

    Glad to see leadership and an actual plan from Governor Pritzker Doesn’t look like the Mayor was with him during the presser…wonder what that’s about.

  5. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Nov 16, 23 @ 11:21 am:

    ===wonder what that’s about===


  6. - Contrast in Leadership - Thursday, Nov 16, 23 @ 11:31 am:

    The mayor said at yesterday’s presser that he “would not sacrifice the needs of Chicagoans in support of those who wish to become Chicagoans”.

    A contrast in leadership and messaging as we reach a point where people are at risk of freezing to death.

  7. - Frida's boss - Thursday, Nov 16, 23 @ 11:36 am:

    Is there a running total now that the state has put into this issue?

    I know as of Sept 28 article from the Trib it was $328 million -Pritzker touted the roughly $328 million the state has spent on the migrants to date …..

    That was in response to Alderman Rameriz-Rosa saying the state hasn’t done anything.

    What have they spent since then? Also now add that up the state is on the hook for $468 million. The city has spent well over $150 million if their estimates of $50 million a month are true.
    So we’re talking almost $600+ million in migrant spending, on top of countless volunteer hours, and then add personal money spent by local folks for food and clothing.

    Let’s estimate top end they’ve received 25,000 migrants, that’s $24,000 per person spent. What has that money gone towards? Where is the breakdown of who received money, how it was spent, and which “organizations” received funding? Is there any financial accountability on the spending or actual statements for the costs?

    I’m glad the Gov jumped in, the City was a disaster. All the aldermen who bashed JB and the State should apologize and say thank you to JB and the County for fixing their catastrophe. But they probably won’t, guess they’ll say it’s about time and it’s not their fault..

  8. - Wild Bunch - Thursday, Nov 16, 23 @ 11:43 am:

    The Mayor of Chicago wasn’t there today because he doesn’t really want to tackle this problem. He and his ‘reform’ minded crew want to just blame others. Weird he pre-empted this press conference with his own announcement yesterday about state funds coming. But was a no-show today.

  9. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, Nov 16, 23 @ 11:45 am:

    ===within the Illinois Department of Human Services budget to reallocate dollars.===

    The many hundreds of vacancies at DHS make this reallocation a whole lot easier. So at least there’s one nice thing about that.

  10. - Sonny - Thursday, Nov 16, 23 @ 11:48 am:

    It’s easily already more than a billion between the City and State.

  11. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, Nov 16, 23 @ 11:49 am:

    ===wonder what that’s about===

    The Think Big press release that we’ll eventually see about this will probably help shed some light on why the Mayor would be excluded. It doesn’t matter who the Governor is, when the President visits the state in an official capacity they don’t snub the Governor. I hope the Mayor’s absence was by his choice.

  12. - OneMan - Thursday, Nov 16, 23 @ 11:55 am:

    ===wonder what that’s about===

    I would put my money on the Mayor isn’t happy the state isn’t just handing the city cash.


    The undisclosed location is problematic for the Mayor.

  13. - JS Mill - Thursday, Nov 16, 23 @ 11:55 am:

    As the self anointed spokesman for rural Illinois (not really, just speaking for myself here) I would love to have 50-100 of these folks in my tiny community. More if we have housing. In nearby lager towns we already have Spanish speaking residents and they could help make them feel comfortable. We have jobs available too. Nothing fancy, but paying above minimum wage.

    Boy, if we could get a couple thousand of the new immigrants set with bud driver licenses OH MY GOODNESS, would that be a godsend for schools in the state (banned punctuation).

  14. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, Nov 16, 23 @ 12:14 pm:

    If cities and towns in more rural counties want to be involved in helping to address the immigrant crisis they just have to say so. I’m not aware of any that are jumping forward offering to specifically help. No one is stopping them and they don’t have to wait for the Governor to tell them so.

    Something to keep in mind is whether or not those unfilled jobs in those communities are more than just basic minimum wage positions, and whether or not the school districts have the resources to address an influx of ESL students.

  15. - northsider (the original) - Thursday, Nov 16, 23 @ 12:28 pm:

    ===No direct money to Chicago===
    So this will prevent Mayor ‘I need you to do me a favor tho’ from trading more city services for votes, at least with this program?

  16. - levivotedforjudy - Thursday, Nov 16, 23 @ 12:34 pm:

    The idea of the refugees moving to rural areas in intriguing. Does anybody in the Mayor’s Office know there is this thing called the IL Municipal League to vett this concept? This is the 1st thing Bill Luking (RIP) would have done for Daley.

  17. - Wild Bunch - Thursday, Nov 16, 23 @ 12:50 pm:

    C’mon folks. There will be no refugees moving to rural Illinois. Let’s get real. First, services are lacking. Second, if Joliet had the reaction it had, what do you think the reaction would be in let’s say…..Harrisburg. Or Quincy. C’mon.

  18. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Thursday, Nov 16, 23 @ 1:28 pm:

    Is the Mayor actually going to provide a location for this soft sided center?

  19. - Simple - Thursday, Nov 16, 23 @ 3:48 pm:


    They don’t want to

  20. - JS Mill - Thursday, Nov 16, 23 @ 4:01 pm:

    =I’m not aware of any that are jumping forward offering to specifically help. No one is stopping them and they don’t have to wait for the Governor to tell them so.

    Something to keep in mind is whether or not those unfilled jobs in those communities are more than just basic minimum wage positions, and whether or not the school districts have the resources to address an influx of ESL students.=

    None are that I know of, which again is a HUGE missed opportunity. Huge. These are going to be great community members where ever they settle, we have research data that says that they become taxpayers that contribute to the local economy something our small rural towns desperately need.

    Ideally, small towns near places like Bloomington/Normal, Dekalb and other larger (yet still small towns) would be great. The proximity to the larger towns usually means resources. Or small communities with established spanish speaking residents communities within them would be perfect.

    Sadly, because of their own irrational fears, lack of vision, or outright bigotry none of them will jump on this absolutely golden opportunity.

    I talked to two of the mayors from towns within my district, because we have two nearby towns with established spanish speaking communities and was completely shut down. It seems that a certain network and politician has described these folks as gang members and criminals and they are afraid.

    The whole thing makes me sad. We can do so much better, the idea of new immigrants in America is such a truly “American” thing and all of these patriots are just not getting it. History repeating itself.

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