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Impact of Migrant Influx Reverberates in Downstate Illinois Communities

Migrant influx to Illinois being felt in downstate communities

Some policymakers across the state are responding to the migrant crisis in Illinois.

Since August 2022, tens of thousands of migrants have been relocated to the state from the southern U.S. border, with approximately 33,000 asylum seekers reported in Chicago alone.

In response to the influx, the state of Illinois has allocated $640 million to address the migrant situation. Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson has acknowledged a projected $538 million budget deficit for 2024, attributing part of this financial challenge to the increasing costs associated with caring for migrants.

In response to Chicago’s bus impoundment for migrant drop-offs, some buses have redirected their deliveries to other communities in the state.

Chuck Erickson, a McLean County board member, has proposed a measure prohibiting the use of county tax funds to support migrants potentially dropped off in the central Illinois county.

Erickson commented, “Many of these sanctuary cities and other places are expressing concerns because we lack the resources to manage it all.”

Migrant influx to Illinois being felt in downstate communities | Don't Miss This |
The proposal to prohibit county tax funds for migrant support was rejected by a 13 to 7 vote.

Grundy County, declaring itself a non-sanctuary county, previously posted signs on the interstate warning bus drivers against stopping in their towns. These signs have since been removed.

A group of Republican state lawmakers is introducing a package of bills addressing the increasing costs of migrant care. State Rep. John Cabello, R-Machesney Park, emphasized that Illinoisans should not bear the financial burden of migrant health care, expressing concern over the mounting bills while legal residents struggle to pay for health insurance.

(Recognition of Unique Health Care Provision)
Health care for migrants is currently provided by Illinois, making it one of only two states with such services, according to State Senator Dave Syverson, R-Cherry Valley.

Mayor Adams Walks a Tightrope in Lashing Out at Migrant Influx - The New York Times

Syverson stated that the proposed legislation aims to convey that Illinois is not a sanctuary state for obtaining free health care.

Among the proposed bills is the elimination of the TRUST Act, which presently restricts local police agencies in Illinois from reaching out to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement during investigations involving illegal immigration.

To address the migrant influx, Illinois has allocated $640 million. Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson noted a projected $538 million budget deficit for 2024, attributing part of the financial strain to the increasing cost of migrant care.

With Chicago impounding buses delivering migrants, some buses have opted to unload migrants in alternative communities across the state.

A proposal to prohibit the use of county tax funds to aid migrants potentially dropped off in central Illinois was introduced by McLean County board member Chuck Erickson.

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