Mayor downplays youth crime, reaffirms Chicago’s migrant ‘sanctuary’ status

(The Center Square) – Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson downplayed the arrest of about 40 juveniles in the city this past weekend, pushing back at a reporter’s use of the word “mob.” He also reaffirmed the city’s “sanctuary city” status for foreign nationals.

According to Chicago police data, last weekend saw 29 separate shooting incidents throughout the city, which resulted in 47 people being shot and five who died.

Johnson was asked about large youth gatherings and pushed back on them being called anything else.

“It’s important that we speak of these dynamics in the appropriate way. This is not to obfuscate what has actually taken place, but we have to be very careful when we use language to describe certain behavior,” Johnson said. “To refer to children as baby Al Capones is not appropriate.”

Johnson said he did not know the age of all those who were arrested.

Holiday weekends have resulted in large gatherings and high crime in Chicago, as 74 people were shot during the Father’s Day weekend, and an additional 33 people were shot over the Independence Day weekend.

Johnson also discussed the migrant surge in the city and reaffirmed his stance on keeping Chicago’s sanctuary status, meaning officials won’t enforce federal immigration law.

Just this week, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced the city would no longer be taking migrants due to already having a significant amount of people there and a lack of resources.

Johnson said Chicago will remain open for those who wish to be here.

“Here’s what I am committed to doing, honoring the law of being a sanctuary city and building systems of care that provide a pathway with dignity for individuals who are seeking refuge here in the city of Chicago,” Johnson said.

As a result, Chicago and the state of Illinois are caring for about 12,000 additional migrants since this time last year. City and state taxpayers have set aside $94 million for migrant housing, with the state budgeting $550 million to subsidize the health care of migrants over the age of 65.

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