Chicago residents are feeling the negative impacts of being a sanctuary city, as socialists like Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson continue to embrace this status. In response to this growing issue, two Aldermen in the city, Anthony Napolitano (41st) and Anthony Beale (9th), have come together to cosponsor a resolution that aims to add a referendum to the March 2024 primary ballot. This referendum would ask voters if Chicago should continue to maintain its sanctuary city designation.
Alderman Napolitano took to Facebook to share his thoughts on the matter, stating that the resolution and ordinance they have created address the crisis that is significantly impacting their city. He explained that the resolution would create a ballot referendum, giving Chicago residents the power to decide if the city should remain a sanctuary city. Additionally, the ordinance they have proposed would require Aldermanic approval for any temporary housing of illegal immigrants within their respective wards. Napolitano emphasized the urgent need to prioritize the well-being of the hardworking residents of Chicago and the integrity of their neighborhoods.
The local Welcoming City ordinance currently in place ensures that Chicago officials do not inquire about immigrants’ legal status or deny them services based on it. The city also refuses to cooperate with federal U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) authorities. These protections were strengthened in 2021 to close any loopholes that once allowed police to work with ICE under certain circumstances. However, Alderman Napolitano believes that residents may suffer if taxes increase to cover the costs of migrant-related resources. He asserts that it is crucial to include taxpayers in the conversation and allow them to determine if the city’s current approach is the right one, as he believes the situation has had a catastrophic impact financially.
Due to Joe Biden’s broken border policies, Chicago has already spent over $100 million to care for the illegal immigrants arriving in the city. However, despite this significant expenditure of taxpayer dollars, the city remains overwhelmed by the influx of migrants. So overwhelmed, in fact, that they have resorted to housing migrants in police stations and turning O’Hare airport into a dangerously unsanitary and crowded encampment. Concerns have also been raised regarding the transparency of the city’s expenditures, as they have denied a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from NBC Chicago for copies of invoices detailing how $57 million was spent on a staffing company contracted to provide staffing in shelters.
At a community meeting on Chicago’s South Side, residents expressed their frustrations with the reestablishment of a migrant shelter in the Hyde Park area. One resident even stated, “I don’t want them there. Take them someplace else or send them back to Venezuela. I don’t care where they go.” These sentiments highlight the concerns that residents in neighborhoods like Woodlawn have been sharing about the increase in harassment and crime that they believe illegal immigrants have brought to their community.
The resolution proposed by Aldermen Napolitano and Beale aims to give Chicago residents a voice and the power to determine the future of their city as a sanctuary city. It raises important questions about the financial burden on taxpayers and the overall impact of this designation on the well-being and safety of the residents. With the referendum potentially being added to the upcoming primary ballot in 2024, the Chicago community will have the opportunity to shape the future of their city and address the ongoing migrant crisis.