By Neirin Gray Desai for Dailymail.Com
17:25 June 01, 2023, updated 18:11 June 01, 2023
- Councilmembers in Chicago voted 43-13 in favor of $51 million in aid for migrants
- In a heated meeting, some Chicagoans said black residents needed funding too
- More than 10,000 immigrants have come to Chicago since the bus began arriving from the southern border in August.
Chicago politicians and citizens feverishly argued about funding more immigrant care instead of giving the money to black communities, as the city faces a financial crisis from the flood of immigrants who have arrived by bus in recent months.
A heated meeting Wednesday at Chicago City Hall included tears, finger pointing and shouting as residents and officials debated the best use of their resources.
More than 10,000 migrants have flooded into the city since buses began arriving from the US-Mexico border in August and some have had to resort to sleeping in police stations as Chicago ran out of housing options.
Officials have called for more financial aid for the immigration crisis, but others have demanded that the money go to other neighborhoods.
“We need to allocate some of this money for our black children, for the black community,” a member of the public said during the meeting.
In the end, Chicago leaders allocated an additional $51 million to help the city fund its care for immigrants, while adding $0 to help Black communities.
The new funding, which passed 43-13, will only last until June and is designed to help Mayor Brandon Johnson, who took office just two weeks ago, overcome a crisis he inherited from outgoing Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
In her final days as mayor, she declared the immigrant situation in Chicago a “state of emergency.” Chicago authorities have said they cannot afford to rent hotel rooms for the more than 10,000 immigrants who poured into the city and with nowhere else to go began filling police stations.
The new money will be spent on staffing, food, transportation and legal services in temporary shelters, in the hope that alleviate the crisis of the city.
Councilman Jason Ervin, chair of the budget committee, told ABC7 that the city will have to come up with a long-term plan and that the money is mainly intended to give Johnson’s administration a breather.
‘There needs to be a bigger plan and I think this was always designed to give the incoming administration time to do it. This is a stopgap measure, pure and simple,” he said after the proposal was approved.
Much of Wednesday afternoon’s debate was racially charged, casting Chicago’s blacks and Hispanic immigrants as two separate groups in need.
‘We need to allocate some of this money for our black children, for the black community,’ yelled a member of the public.
However, some speakers encouraged a less divisive view.
‘We have to help the residents of this great city. It is not an or. It’s both,’ said Ward 17 Councilman David Moore.
Jeanette Taylor of the 20th Ward broke down in tears as she addressed the crowd, who applauded her comments.
“We fight just to drink from a fucking fountain, but injured people don’t hurt other injured people,” he said.
Chicago Republican Party Chairman Steve Boulton was openly critical of the funding.
“We don’t know where that money comes from,” he said. ‘We are not told where that money is going to be spent. We are not told how it is spent.
“It is irresponsible for the City Council to appropriate what is nothing more than provisional money that will help us get through a month or two and then the problem will continue to stare us in the face.”
Councilwoman Maria Hadden of the 49th Ward voted in favor of the additional funding, but asked community members to also think about black residents.
“Everyone who’s working hard for this has to show up to black Chicagoans with the same energy, and that means money,” Hadden said during the meeting.
Videos and photos in recent weeks have shown hallways at some Chicago campuses littered with migrant mattresses and personal belongings.
Chicago is one of several Democratic-run cities where southern states have bused immigrants as the crisis on the US-Mexico border grows.
Images released by photojournalist Rebecca Brannon showed dozens of immigrants sitting on and around mattresses at a Chicago police station.
Brannon reported that many of the migrants had slept and eaten on the floors, which has interfered with daily police activities.
More than 10,000 migrants have arrived in Chicago since August, which is when southern states began busing asylum seekers north. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sent immigrants to Democratic-led cities to help ease the burden on border cities.
‘To provide much-needed relief to our encroached-on border communities, Texas began busing immigrants to sanctuary cities as their “Home City,” along with Washington, DC, New York City, and Philadelphia, with more to come. come.
“Until Biden secures the border to stop the influx of mass migration, Texas will continue this necessary program,” Abbott said in a letter in May.
Immigrants have been sent to cities like Chicago, Philadelphia and New York. Immigrants have also poured into Washington, DC, with buses stopping outside the home of Vice President Kamala Harris.