Pritzker’s New Disaster Emergency Proclamation for Immigrants: Compassion or Maximum Hypocrisy? – Wireframe stitches
By: Mark Glennon*
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker issued an emergency proclamation on Wednesday declaring a disaster in every county in Illinois “to ensure that all state resources are available to support asylum seekers arriving almost daily in Chicago from the state of Texas,” as noted in its press release.
“The proclamation,” as the press release states, “allows the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and other state agencies, in close coordination with the City of Chicago, Cook County and other local governments to ensure that individuals and families receive the assistance they need, including transportation, emergency shelter and housing, food, health screenings, health, medical assessments, treatments and other necessary care and services.
The disaster was sparked by Texas, say Pritzker and Lightfoot, which transported about 500 undocumented immigrants to Chicago. The proclamation’s first three paragraphs blame Texas, which it says bussed the immigrants to Chicago “with little or no notice.” It’s a claim frequently made by Pritzker as well as Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Cook County Council Speaker Toni Preckwinkle, who joined Pritzker at his press conference announcing the order.
How anyone could make that claim with a straight face is beyond imagination.
We should already expect some 77,000 undocumented immigrants, not 500, to have arrived in Illinois in the past year alone. That’s the state’s share, based on population, of the two million known to have crossed the Mexican border last year. Chicago’s share alone would be 17,000.
More than 400,000 undocumented migrants were already in Illinois in 2019 — before the current surge under the Biden administration, under which nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants arrived, setting records.
Pritzker and Lightfoot have never objected to Biden’s handling of the border. Instead, they proudly made Illinois and Chicago sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants.
But is Illinois surprised and angered by the arrival of 500?
They blame Texas for a crisis they themselves caused.
To add to the hypocrisy, President Biden recently asked Congress for an additional $1.8 billion to ferry undocumented immigrants across the country and help them. Somehow, though, we’re supposed to be shocked that Texas sent 500. Lightfoot said Chicago was experiencing an “ambush-manufactured crisis.” Pritzker says the buses were a “heartless display of people politics” and that Illinois “will not stoop to [Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s] level.”
The irony in that 500 number is what is most troubling.
Just this week, Chicago recorded its 500e homicide. The victim, who had a 5-year-old daughter and an 11-month-old son, was shot at least nine times as she left her mother’s home.
Yet there is no emergency attitude toward crime in Illinois. Likewise, no legislation or measure of any significance has come out of Springfield to fight crime.
Pritzker calls in 75 members of the Illinois National Guard as part of his emergency measures.
Where was that call in 2020 when riots devoured Chicago? Where is that call now to help quell the runaway violent crime that is destroying the city?
Where is the emergency mentality needed to tackle the failing schools of Chicago and much of the rest of Illinois (not that crime should be treated that way)? When did Pritzker or the General Assembly even acknowledge this failure?
It’s not that Illinois is wrong to help asylum seekers. Immigrants have the compassion of most Illinois, as they should, and the aid undoubtedly has support, as it should. Most of the affected immigrants were apprehended in Texas and applied for asylum, leaving them legally free to remain in the country until their case is heard. Like it or not, that’s the system we have.
But Pritzker and Lightfoot apparently think you won’t remember that three years ago they expressed pride that Chicago had already been named the “most immigrant-friendly” city in America.
It wasn’t enough, so more assistance followed. Subsequently, Pritzker authorized $30 million in immigrant reception centers statewide. Last year, he signed three bills in one day to help more immigrants.
Lightfoot has also long made helping undocumented migrants a priority. The long list of these measures is here.
How, despite these measures, can there be a disaster requiring a state of emergency today?
Pritzker again invoked the Illinois Emergency Management Agency law he used for Covid and his emergency rules for that remain in place today.
We warned earlier of Pritzker’s likely motive for arguing so tenaciously to defend his Covid emergency orders, even after the science supporting them had been discredited. He was concerned with setting a legal and political precedent for a broad emergency rule. He had already used it again, declaring Monkeypox a statewide health emergency last month.
It was about hoarding power, in other words. He got away with it so now he has the green light to do what he feels like by proclaiming disaster for any issue he chooses to elevate and personally dominate. Global warming may well be next. Why wouldn’t it be, given that mass extinction is imminent if we don’t cool the planet, as the Illinois ruling class claims?
Most Americans know very well what is at the center of the illegal immigration crisis: the Mexican border is not respected. A majority describes it as an “invasion”. Two-thirds disapprove of Biden’s handling of immigration, according to his own pollster.
Latino voters agree. Latinos who want the border closed outnumber those who don’t by well over two to one.
Yet there is never a word about Biden’s border politics from Pritzker, Lightfoot, Preckwinkle and their allies.
Part of Pritzker’s motive may be to get more money from the federal government. Illinois Congressman “Chuy” Garcia (D-Chicago) is already on it. “Playing politics with the lives of these immigrants is dehumanizing and cruel, but not unexpected from Governor Abbot’s xenophobic and fearmongering policies,” Garcia said in a statement asking for federal money. “As Chicago remains committed to welcoming these newcomers, we must ensure that their food, housing and other basic needs are covered.”
But it reeks of Pritzker’s presidential ambitions, which is probably his biggest motive. He has established himself as the “flamethrower” of progressives, as described in a recent glowing Vanity Fair column. His presidential teaser speech in Miami was more hateful and divisive than even President Biden’s recent national address. Everything is designed to please the far left which dominates the Democratic primaries.
Kicking Abbott also helps with that, earning the gratitude of Democrats nationwide who are doing the same, hoping Abbott will lose the competitive race he is in for re-election.
Harnessing compassion for undocumented migrants, blaming Texas for a border crisis created by its own party, applying maximum hypocrisy and using emergency powers for political grandstanding. That’s what it’s all about, and it’ll likely work with Pritzker’s intended audience, his base on the left.
*Mark Glennon is the founder of Wirepoints.