Pritzker, Chicago mayor claim to be on same page despite disagreements over migrant crisis

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Chicago Transit Authority "warming" buses for migrants are parked in the 800 block of South Desplaines Street Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024, in Chicago. In the city of Chicago's latest attempt to provide shelter to incoming migrants, several buses were parked in the area to house people in cold winter weather. | AP Photo by Erin Hooley courtesy of The Center Square

As the influx of non-citizen migrants continues, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson say they are on the same page regarding handling the crisis despite reports of conflict between the two administrations.

Chicago has seen more than 35,000 non-citizen arrivals over the past year and a half from the southern border. Many have questioned the state’s response and coordination with Chicago.

Last week, Pritzker explained his relationship with Johnson.

“The reality is, our senior staffs are sitting at the table every day, that’s no exaggeration, every day with the county,” Pritzker said. “We have meetings between the mayor, the county board president and me, so we are getting a lot done.”

Johnson has also pushed back on the idea that the city and state are not working together to look to solve the migrant issue.

“We have worked with the faith community, the business community, the philanthropic community, labor and all levels of government to provide care for our new arrivals,” Johnson said. “We are working to help create a pathway to self-sufficiency and independence.”

A few weeks ago, Pritzker spoke about the need for more communication between both sides regarding the sheltering of the arrivals.

“I am deeply concerned. We do not have enough shelter as it is in Chicago,” Pritzker said. “The city has not told the state where they would like us to put our resources to build or help them build new shelters.”

Johnson responded to Pritzker’s comments of needing to provide locations.

“The state has received several locations they can build a shelter at,” Johnson said. “Just keep in mind the state of Illinois can build a shelter anywhere.”

Pritzker has indicated the best place to house the foreign nationals arriving to Illinois is in Chicago because of quicker access to a variety of resources and services.

Illinois taxpayers spent over $500 million on migrant care in 2023 alone.

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