(The Center Square) – The Chicago City Council and Mayor Brandon Johnson heard Wednesday from Chicago residents upset about the influx of migrants in their communities and the resources that have been allocated to assist them.
Chicago started moving some of the foreign nationals bused from the southern border to other communities throughout the city. However, some believe not enough is being done to help those who’ve been lived in those neighborhoods for generations.
Last month the Chicago city council appropriated $51 million for migrant services. The money comes from opioid and vaping settlement funds. However, it is only expected to last a few months.
More than 10,000 migrants have arrived in Chicago over the past nine months from the southern border.
On Wednesday, residents of Chicago attended the meeting, and several used their time to speak out against the financial resources for the migrants.
George Blakemore voiced his frustration with the handling of the situation by the city council.
“Can’t you see what is going on here, with these illegal immigrants and our so-called elected officials who vote against our interests?” asked Blakemoore. “We are not going to tell them [migrants] to go. Maybe some of you all need to go.”
Last week, state Rep. La Shawn Ford, D-Chicago, said current city residents feel underserved.
“What people are feeling is that the people who have been in these neighborhoods for generations, they have been treated inhumanely by the same government that is making efforts to provide good care to the asylum seekers,” Ford told The Center Square.
Jessica Jackson told the council that she and others feel tricked by the handling of the migrant situation.
“In the words of Malcolm X, we have been hoodwinked, run amok, bamboozled, by sitting here thinking that these Black politicians are helping us,” Jackson said.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker has sought the help of the federal government to provide resources for Chicago and the migrants, which includes jobs.
“I have been imploring the White House and the federal government to do two things. One is we need comprehensive immigration reform,” Pritzker said. “In the meantime, we ought to be allowing at least the asylum seekers that came here in the latter half of last year to now get work permits. We have jobs available for them.”
The state government will also provide $43 million in taxpayer funding to care for the migrants as a part of its fiscal 2024 budget.