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Violence prevention activist calls for end of Chicago’s migrant sanctuary status

By November 14, 2023News, Reports

(The Center Square) – With Chicago’s ongoing migrant crisis becoming more pronounced by the day, local activist Tio Hardiman is calling on Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson to reverse policy when it comes to its sanctuary city status.

“I was one of the first community leaders to call for a reversal,” Hardiman told The Center Square. “I’m happy to see a lot of other people getting on the bandwagon now. We have too many issues to fix in Chicago right now to be trying to fix an issue that was self-created.”

Hardiman argues the reasons for his position are as apparent as they are endless.

“There have been over 7,400-plus armed robberies in Chicago this year; over 540 people have been killed and the crime continues to increase,” he said. “Now, we have a mayor spending more time attempting to fix a crisis that was created by bad policy.”

Hardiman further estimates that there are already thousands of homeless people spread across the city with the government not doing nearly enough to address the issue, he said.

Immigrants from Venezuela are reflected in a marble wall while taking shelter at the Chicago Police Department’s 16th District station on Monday, May 1, 2023. Chicago has seen the number of new arrivals grow tenfold in recent days. Shelter space is scarce and migrants awaiting a bed are sleeping on floors in police stations and airports.
Charles Rex Arbogast | AP

“Now, all of sudden you want to go meet with the president to try to secure $5 billion to deal with this particular migrant crisis,” he said of Johnson’s recent request alongside other mayors impacted by the crisis. “I feel it’s a slap in the face of all the people of Chicago.”

Given all of Chicago’s other pressing issues, Hardiman argues the money could be much better spent in other areas in the push to get the city back on the right track.

“Why not ask for $5 billion to hire a lot of these young guys in Chicago that are committing crimes,” he said. “Let’s raise $5 billion to get them off the streets … provide some type of employment to help them and reduce the gun violence. It’s like a plague of violence roaming around our city right now … and all of a sudden you step up to the plate for people coming from a distant land.”

In penning a letter seeking the additional funding, Johnson was joined by fellow big city mayors from New York, Los Angeles, Houston and Denver, all of which have also seen a steady influx of recent migrant arrivals as so-called sanctuary cities.

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