Native Chicagoans Pushed to the Back of the Line
Illegals take positions of prominence in the Windy City
Ah! The benevolence of Chicago’s former-Mayor Lori Lightfoot and current Mayor Brandon Johnson trying to earn political points by openly stating sanctuary status for illegal immigrants is now being felt. In a piece published on August 23, the Chicago Tribune covered the closure of a shelter in Pilsen that will see 100 illegal migrants returned to the lobbies of Chicago Police District buildings. Describing the latest blow to Chicago’s unsustainable “sanctuary city” status, the Tribune described the shuttering of the temporary shelter in Pilsen as “a confluence of bad luck that includes a lack of funding and volunteers.”
Yet, is it really bad luck or a lack of foresight? Since September 2022, Chicago has been ineffectively dealing with busloads of migrants who were welcomed with open arms by progressive lawmakers and community activists. At the moment, Chicago is struggling to manage the arrival of nearly 12,000 illegals of which over 5,000 seek shelter, according to WTTW. These calculations of the total numbers of illegals entering Chicago are only estimates. Realistically, the numbers currently in Chicago are higher or lower depending where you glean information. Combining Chicago lawmakers refusal to retreat from “sanctuary city” policy with the lax enforcement of the southern border, and the numbers of migrants flooding the Windy City will continue to increase as buses continue to arrive daily.
The fact Chicago wrestles with illegals overwhelming the city, progressives, community organizers, and immigrants rights groups have expressed displeasure with Texas Governor Greg Abbott and accuse him of using human beings as pawns. Yet Abbott is not the architect of open borders. Instead, Abbott is merely trying to spread the wealth of his misfortune to those mayors who feigned compassion.
Now that Chicago has become a main migrant destination, what has Chicago’s official leadership done to provide services for the wave of arrivals?
Those fortunate enough to be placed in temporary shelters are located in areas of the city already dealing with economic distress and hardship. Meanwhile, as Chicago pays an inordinate amount of attention to illegals, its poorest and most in need of housing are now being relegated to the back of the line because of the “humanitarian crisis.”
This is troubling because Chicago has grappled with an estimated 65,000 homeless population prior to the migrants arriving in Chicago. Without missing a beat, the City Council has already spent over $100 million to address the issue, but the Chicago Office of Budget and Management has thus far declined to turn over documents outlining where the tax dollars were spent. Because no one is quite sure where those monies have been allocated, it is difficult to have proper accounting when you hire CTU activists to run city government.
Meanwhile, preferential treatment for the illegal migrants has become so extensive, it is causing rifts in communities across the city. Owing to soaring temperatures, Chicago has taken steps provide cooling buses for illegals sheltered at the Gage Park Fieldhouse. Though the Chicago Park District lists approximately 30 cooling stations around the city, you are not likely to find cooling buses in your neighborhood.
With migrants in need, some religious leaders in Chicago have intervened. Attempting to provide some relief, beginning in March, Pastor John Zayas, who leads North Austin’s Grace and Peace Community Church, received notoriety for opening his church to migrants in order to provide an evening’s shelter, food, and clothing. Zayas also labored to find migrants more permanent shelter. Additionally, Zayas’ church maintains its own food pantry, which works in close collaboration with Greater Chicago Food Depository. Coverage of Zayas’ church on local PBS affiliate WTTW noted that Grace and Peace Community Church has attracted migrants from out of state because of its mission and commitment to help those in want.
Unfortunately, with this notoriety came theft: Pastor Zayas had a mobile trailer packed with food, medical supplies, and clothing stolen in July. Chicago Police are still investigating the crime.
With Chicago still in triage mode applying pressure to a gaping wound, the search for a solution to accommodate illegals is ongoing. What, then, does the future hold for Chicago and its residents as the city attempts to resolve the vexing problem of migrants continuing to arrive to Chicago?
Plainly, the long-term goals include searching for money, money, and more money. Complicating matters is the shortage of shelters. Although the city currently operates 12 shelters for illegals, city officials are weighing additional locations to house new arrivals. To accommodate the illegals, Chicago has contracted with Kansas City-based Favorite Healthcare Staffing to provide services including laundry and food to those housed. A costly service, Favorite Healthcare’s per-employee hourly rate is $60. And health care workers receive amounts in excess of $200 hourly.
In addition to this high-priced contract, Chicagoans were just met with the reality of Mayor Johnson’s new real estate transfer tax. A soak-the-rich plan to extort a three percent tax on the sale of properties above $1.5 million, Johnson believes this will reap an additional $100 million per annum to be used toward affordable housing.
On top of this is the education of migrants now that CPS has resumed for the school year. It’s estimated that 25 percent of migrants are children. Of course, placing illegals into Chicago’s public school system is a not beneficial to taxpayers, but don’t tell this to Chicago Teacher Union President Stacy Davis Gates. Davis Gates is already lamenting the lack of multilingual teachers and support. But, keep in mind, hiring new teachers is in the best interest of the CTU.
Additionally, Davis Gates has made every effort to undercut school choice. In an interview with South Side Weekly, Gates said:
“Yes, we are concerned about the encroachment of fascists in Chicago. We are concerned about the marginalization of public education through the eyes of those who’ve never intended for Black people to be educated.”
Clearly, the bilingual support Gates is prioritizing for migrants appears to conflict with her call for black students to be educated. Is Davis Gates a fascist?
The influx of migrants is promising to complicate problems in CPS schools. Parents who have children enrolled in Chicago’s failing schools must now contend with migrant children waltzing into public schools without providing any background information or health history. Nevertheless, CPS is taking every step to ensure every illegal immigrant child is enrolled. Together with illegals being enrolled in our schools, the 2024 campaign must be considered. As the presidential election draws nearer, the discussion of yet another COVID variant is on the minds of federal, state, and local politicians. They would love nothing more than to spread fear and panic to justify another mask mandate and bring back an onerous lockdown in order to utilize mail-in ballots, again.
The lack of logic over the contradictions in CPS is not lost on parents. Fox News discussed this inconsistency with parent Jennifer Preston this past May. Explaining established rules governing enrollment, Preston stated:
“Right now in the school district in which we live we have to provide residency, citizenship, health records and vaccination records on an almost annual basis. I have a child right now, and I must have five emails in my inbox stating that my child cannot return to school next year without a specific vaccine.”
Jennifer is absolutely correct, but her logic is irrelevant here. A time of turbulence, we are facing a colossal failure of the federal government to end the waves of illegals crossing our borders, while at the same time Chicago exists as a sanctuary city that cannot provide even the most basic necessities to those without roots.
Moreover, Chicago is facing a slowdown in hiring that will surely impact all who rely on available low-skilled jobs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Chicago has seen an employment gain amounting to a meager 1.7 percent, which is well short of the national gain of 2.6 percent. Though Chicago’s CBS affiliate WBBM touted record high tourism for the first half of 2023, which would be a plus for those seeking work in hotels and restaurants, observers note that 2024 and 2025 is certain to face a slowdown. The effects of Chicago’s COVID lockdowns meant that those planning events well in advance chose cities that they counted on to remain open — Las Vegas, for example.
A lack of permanent shelters, affordable housing, underperforming schools, and overall employment will all come to a head as Chicago continues to overspend and underdeliver. Unless Johnson and company — mainly the rowdy band of Democratic Socialists and union organizers surrounding him — can pull a rabbit out of their hats, their policy proposals will only bring hopelessness.
Hopefully, Johnson’s actions will be remembered at the next election.