On Thursday, Governor JB Pritzker announced his plan to spend $160 million in taxpayer funds to provide shelter and job assistance to thousands of migrants in Chicago. Since 2022, nearly 25,000 migrants have come to Chicago while the State of Illinois has already spent $478 million on the migrant crisis.
Deputy Republican Leader Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) criticized Governor Pritzker’s plan to take $160 million away from essential services provided by the Illinois Department of Human Services to assist with the migrant crisis in Chicago.
“Chicago is facing a humanitarian and budgetary catastrophe, due to its status as a sanctuary city,” Rep. Hammond said. “Nearly 25,000 migrants have been transported to Chicago from border states, costing Illinois taxpayers almost $500 million and counting. Governor Pritzker’s plan to shift around money within DHS’ budget to provide an additional $160 million to address Chicago’s migrant crisis puts the needs of migrants ahead of the needs of our own citizens. DHS provides essential services to the developmentally disabled, senior citizens, and children in need. Serving the citizens of Illinois is our responsibility, first and foremost. The Governor and his Democratic friends need to get their priorities straight.”
Representative Hammond serves as the chief budget negotiator for the Illinois House Republican Caucus. She has been a strong critic of policies enacted by the Pritzker Administration to provide free healthcare benefits for undocumented immigrants, at a cost of nearly $2 billion to Illinois taxpayers. Earlier this year, Hammond called for a moratorium on enrollment and expansion of the program.
“Illinois taxpayers cannot afford to pay for free healthcare benefits for undocumented immigrants, especially at a time when healthcare costs for our own citizens continue to skyrocket,” Hammond said. “We must do more to stop the flow of undocumented immigrants into Illinois. The federal government needs to take action to secure our borders and make it clear to our neighbors to the south that the U.S. border is closed!”