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Afternoon roundup

Friday, Nov 17, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* A commenter asked a good question today

So how does it work to find new housing [for migrants] after the 60 days in a shelter and 90 days in temp housing with rental assistance if they still can’t get work permits? How are they going to pay rent without jobs?

The governor was asked pretty much that same question yesterday

Well, the good news is that the federal government really has sped up that process. That used to be the case, what you were describing, where it was months and months of waiting for work authorization. They recognized, and I think you’ll recall that the mayor and I, Senator Durbin and others had a press conference and we had been communicating for some months about the need to speed up that process. And then the federal government did step in and indeed expanded the ability for TPS folks who come here before July to be able to get work authorizations. Now they’ve sped up the process for approving those work authorizations. So we believe that by February all the applications will come in and during the time between now and February there will be many people who will already have received word that they are authorized to work.

Also, remember, the clock doesn’t start ticking until they’re moved out of staging areas, like police stations.

* More from the governor’s press release

A cornerstone of this plan is a State-led effort to move thousands of individuals through the federal Temporary Protect Status (TPS) and Employment Authorization Document (EAD) processes as quickly as possible. This will allow asylum seekers to gain employment and achieve self-sufficiency, thereby alleviating the strain on state resources. In the weeks and months ahead, the State will stand-up large-scale workshops with legal aid providers and pro-bono attorneys to facilitate the application process. Workshops will be co-located with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) workforce programming to provide federal assistance and job search resources simultaneously. By February, the State aims to have submitted the applications of the roughly 11,000 TPS and/or EAD eligible asylum seekers residing in City of Chicago shelters, with thousands more to be completed in the months that follow.

* While we’re on this topic, the ILGOP seems to both side with migrants and complain about them in the same press release…

Pritzker, Johnson Driving Migrants Away with Incompetence

CHICAGO — When Governor Pritzker promised to welcome the waves of migrants being bussed from border states to Chicago, he must have been thinking about running for President instead of how to house thousands of immigrants in Illinois.

The city and state’s lack of a cohesive, functioning sanctuary plan has become so disastrous that many migrants on their own are packing up to leave. Whether it was the city’s lack of jobs, resources, or just the idea of spending winter on Chicago’s streets, many are deserting the state, some even going back to their home countries.

Many have risked their lives for the American Dream, and are now rethinking those decisions. That’s how badly Governor Pritzker and Mayor Johnson have handled the migrant crisis.

“Gov. Pritzker appears to have put his ambitions for higher office ahead of the good of this state,” ILGOP Chairman Don Tracy said. “Like Biden, Pritzker encouraged illegal immigration to score points with open border advocates. Now Illinois taxpayers will have to foot the bill to house, feed, and provide for migrants in a state that is already one of the most taxed in the nation. This state needs a leader, not a politician auditioning to replace Biden.”

* This WBEZ story has been overlooked

Today, more Palestinians live in Cook County than any other county in the nation, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. More than 18,000 Palestinians live in Cook County, and more than 23,000 live in the Chicago metropolitan area, which includes 14 counties in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.

However, experts say the census significantly underestimates the size of the Palestinian population.

Overall, Arab Americans are undercounted in the once-in-a-decade census because there isn’t a specific category for people of Middle Eastern or North African (MENA) descent among the choices available to indicate race or ethnicity, said Maya Berry, executive director of the nonprofit Arab American Institute. Illinois is the first state that will require state agencies, starting in 2025, to include a MENA category when collecting information about racial and ethnic identity.

Data on Palestinian ancestry is collected as a write-in response to some census questions, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. But some Palestinians skip the question, or write in something other than “Palestinian” such as “other” or “Arab American,” Berry said.

* Some folks received this blast text yesterday…

The link goes here. Mijente PAC is a c-4 operation that has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on campaigns. But the aldermanic elections were last spring, so unless that group is getting involved in ward committeeperson races next year (of the five targets, Raymond Lopez, Silvana Tabares, Felix Cardona and Gil Villegas are committeepersons), I hope folks are thinking before they click that link.

…Adding… Press release…

Today, Governor JB Pritzker took the following bill action:

Bill Number: HB 0351
Description: Creates the Task Force to Review Eligibility to Hold Public Office and exempts notaries from logging notarial acts on specific documents filed by or on behalf of a candidate for public office.
Action: Signed
Effective: Immediately

Bill Number: HB 1358
Description: Sunset extension and effective date package.
Action: Signed
Effective: Immediately

Bill Number: HB 3641
Description: State government omnibus legislation. Provides numerous technical clean up remedies for State agencies and programs.
Action: Signed
Effective: Immediately

Bill Number: SB 0690
Description: Makes changes to the community mental health public questions process and amends the appointment process of a community mental health board in qualifying municipalities.
Action: Signed
Effective: Immediately

Bill Number: SB 0765
Description: Eliminates the Unlimited Catastrophic Aggregate Coverage provision of the Farm Mutual Act for 5 years.
Action: Signed
Effective: Immediately

* Isabel’s roundup…


  1. - DisappointedVoter - Friday, Nov 17, 23 @ 3:04 pm:

    What a disappointing way to make the announcement by the mayor. On twitter a lot of press and stakeholders are upset at the mismanagement of this roll out. It doesn’t help that we got the governor’s roll out yesterday to contrast and see how it should be done. An announcement with fact sheets, empathetic messaging and Q&A with the press.

    I want the mayor to do well (I voted for him both times). I want his press shop to straighten up. And most of all; I want these people in need to get help and be productive Chicago residents. But I do not think the mayor, Jason Lee or Rich G see an issue or believe there’s a problem.

  2. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Nov 17, 23 @ 3:22 pm:

    Re: Illinois’ once-thriving craft brewing scene faces a steep cliff

    There was a decent article in the Tribune last year about this time, which was more or less foreshadowing this. Calling last year pretty much the swan song for the industry.

    While much of the blame has been put on the pandemic, and surely there is a contribution from that, I’m mostly interested in the impact the legalization of cannabis has had on alcohol consumption in Illinois. Cannabis taxes collected surpassed alcohol taxes collected by 2021. That’s a lot of people who suddenly switched their vices all at the same time. That has to have had an effect on the craft and micro brew industry, but I very rarely see it mentioned.

    I thought it was just me getting old when I realized I had stopped drinking alcohol. Not on purpose, I just noticed one day it had been over a year since I had a drink. While only an anecdote, I also doubt I’m unique in that changeover. How big that dataset actually is, is something the craft brewing industry as a whole should try to figure out.

  3. - Demoralized - Friday, Nov 17, 23 @ 3:22 pm:

    I just can’t with the Republicans anymore. They are nothing but a party of the aggrieved, complaining about everything and offering solutions for nothing. Maybe they should look in the mirror about how migrants are being treated and have a word with the Governor’s of Texas and Florida. They complain about what’s happening in Chicago but seem to have no qualms with the shameful way these people are treated like cattle by DeSantis and Abbott. Again, Republicans don’t want solutions. They just want to complain.

  4. - Dotnonymous x - Friday, Nov 17, 23 @ 3:29 pm:

    Is Elon Musk a nazi?

  5. - New Day - Friday, Nov 17, 23 @ 3:33 pm:

    “Overall, Arab Americans are undercounted in the once-in-a-decade census because there isn’t a specific category for people of Middle Eastern or North African (MENA) descent among the choices available to indicate race or ethnicity,”

    Since more than half of Jews also fit into this category, they are likely also undercounting Jews.

  6. - Frida's boss - Friday, Nov 17, 23 @ 3:58 pm:

    To the alderman named, this is the mayor’s phrase coming to life from yesterday.
    If you’re not on board with his agenda he’s going to make sure you get rolled by the people of Chicago.
    Be ready for a long 3 1/2 years of taxpayer/union-funded “neighborhood organizations” with their full-time paid staffers coming to Council meetings and stopping by your office.

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