If We’d Vote All Over Again on Chicago’s Sanctuary Status, ‘I’m Not Sure We Would Be’: Alderman Hopkins

If We’d Vote All Over Again on Chicago’s Sanctuary Status, ‘I’m Not Sure We Would Be’: Alderman Hopkins

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More than 26,000 illegal immigrants have come to Chicago since August 2022, with the city currently housing 15,000 people in 27 temporary shelters.

Chicago is facing a crisis in the wake of illegal immigrant inflow, with Democrat Alderman Brian Hopkins admitting that the “sanctuary city” status may not hold if there was a vote on the issue and said that an attempt to put the issue on ballots was blocked by the mayor.

Chicago is currently facing a massive influx of illegal immigrants, forcing the mayor to request the federal government for support. Talking about the situation, Mr. Hopkins said in a Jan. 4 interview with Fox News: “I think if we had to vote all over again on authorization for whether Chicago is going to be a sanctuary city, I’m not sure we would be. In fact, we tried to put a referendum on the ballot in March coming up to ask the voters, ‘do you want to be a sanctuary city?’ and the mayor and his team blocked that effort. So we don’t know if there’s political will to continue being a sanctuary city,” he said.

“But I will say this: our status as a sanctuary city first was established way back in the 80s. This is not new. We put this flag in the ground a long time ago. No one at that time had any idea that it would lead to this today. This was completely unpredicted and it’s completely unprecedented.”

Chicago became a sanctuary city back in 1985 due to an executive order issued by then-Mayor Harold Washington, which banned city employees from asking residents about their citizenship or residency status.

It also prohibited city employees from assisting in any investigation related to such issues. In addition, the city was not allowed to deny any service to residents based on their citizenship status.

Mr. Hopkins blamed both Democrats and Republicans for the border situation, “This is a bipartisan failure. The border situation was worse in 2020 than it was in 2016. And it’s worse now in 2024 than it was when Biden got elected. So this is a bipartisan failure.”

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While saying that Chicago, as a city, is not “equipped to handle” the flow of Illegal immigrants, Mr. Hopkins said that the Biden administration has “dropped the ball” on the issue.

“When this crisis started over a year ago, we went to the federal government immediately saying, ‘We can’t do this, give us funding, give us support.’ We went to FEMA and basically came away empty-handed. So that’s the source of my impatience now,” he said.

Late last month, Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson said that the influx of illegal immigrants is unsustainable without “significant federal support.” The city is currently housing 15,000 people in 27 temporary shelters.

According to the governor’s office, over 26,000 unvetted immigrants have arrived in Chicago since August 2022.

Illegal Immigrant Crisis

As part of an effort to control the influx of illegal immigrants, Chicago legislators approved measures last month that imposed stringent penalties on drivers who transport them into the city.

Buses can potentially be seized and impounded if authorities catch the vehicles releasing passengers outside of approved locations with fines of $3,000 and other charges. Multiple bus owners who have been caught breaking these rules have already been issued court notices.

These measures have also had an unforeseen effect. Many drivers are now opting to bypass the designated drop-off points for illegal immigrants and are instead releasing them at random locations throughout the broader Chicago region. Drivers have also cut off communication with city agencies.

Commenting on the matter, Mr. Hopkins said that when bus drivers found out they “couldn’t drive into Chicago in the off hours,” they began dropping the illegal immigrants “off in the suburbs, leaving them at the commuter rail stations and telling them to take a train in the morning. So, the situation has gone from bad to worse, and it’s just chaos out there.”
Some suburbs in Chicago are considering or have already adopted regulations on buses. Broadview, a suburb to the west of Chicago with a population of 8,000 residents, announced that it would take necessary action “because the unloading of passengers in inclement or severe weather without a coordinated plan poses a significant threat to the health, safety, and welfare” to the illegal immigrants.

An ordinance passed by the Tinley Park suburb states that it will “cite, impound, or take other appropriate measures” against buses making unaccounted stops at the town.

Back in November, Democrat mayors of five cities, including Chicago, sent a letter to President Joe Biden asking for $5 billion in federal assistance to cover the costs associated with the influx of illegal immigrants.

“Right now, Denver is spending almost $2 million a week on shelter, New York City has surpassed $1.7 billion in spending, and Chicago has spent over $320 million,” the letter stated.

“Our cities need additional resources that far exceed the amount proposed in order to properly care for the asylum seekers entering our communities.”

According to a recent report by the U.S. Census Bureau, there were nearly 50 million foreign-born individuals living in the United States as of October, making up around 15 percent of the total population. The Center for Immigration Studies noted that the number grew by 4.5 million under the Biden administration alone.


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