The Chicago City Council approved $51 million in funding for housing and food for illegal immigrants as a surge continues on the southern border.
The funding measure, which passed Wednesday by a vote of 34-13, will go towards housing many of the 10,000 foreign nationals who’ve arrived in Chicago since August 2022.
Numerous black residents criticized the measure, instead calling for more funding to be directed towards Chicago’s black community. Carolyn Ruff, who led a “Black Lives Matter” chant, argued that “We need to take care of our community, we need to take care of our Black community.”
“We need to allocate some of this money for our Black children, for the Black community, we have not gotten anything for our community,” she went on to say.
Andre Smith, the CEO of Chicago Against Violence, was one of the many residents to speak out against the funding measure, arguing to the council that the money should instead be used to provide black Chicagoans with reparations payments. “I demand you to have the same passion and urgency to pass the City of Chicago Reparations Ordinance and also give us an office for Black Americans, just like the new Americans.”
“We didn’t have the privilege to cross the border. We came over here being raped, stolen, beaten, chained in the bottom of ships, and you give migrants $51 million?”
Meanwhile, Alderman David Moore of the 17th Ward tried to calm tensions, saying, “Fifteen percent of my residents are Latinos. It hurts my heart as I hear people trying to make this a Black and Brown issue.”
Several attendees shouted each other down during the meeting, with one man even getting escorted out of the council chamber.
Meanwhile, Mayor Brandon Johnson, a Democrat, stated that “Chicago is facing a humanitarian crisis as individuals and families continue to be sent here and other Democratic-led cities across the country without regard for their well-being.”
“My administration will do everything in our power to support these new arrivals as they work to rebuild their lives in the U.S. while still upholding our commitments to the residents of Chicago,” he added. “This appropriation is critical to support our efforts to provide housing and services in the immediate future.”
Estimates have found that illegal immigration costs United States taxpayers approximately $151 billion every year.
Roughly 80,000 foreign nationals have been let into the United States through the CBP One app, an online process that allows them to set up appointments to apply for asylum at a port of entry along the southern border. Additionally, approximately 1.5 million gotaways have entered the United States during the Biden administration.
Meanwhile, a recent poll from CBS News found that 63% of Americans disapprove of Biden’s handling of the United States border, while just 37% say that they approve.