Durbin Statement on Federal Funding Headed to Illinois to Help Address Migrant Crisis

Heeding Durbin’s call, the Biden Administration announced it’s releasing the first installment of congressionally-approved funding as part of the FY24 minibus to assist cities and states receiving recently arrived migrants

CHICAGO – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released the following statement on today’s announcement that the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency are releasing the first installment of congressionally-approved federal funds as part of the Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) “minibus” to help cities and states address the migrant crisis, of which $19.3 million will go to Illinois and be split equally between the state and the City of Chicago:

“This announcement will help equip the City of Chicago and our state in receiving asylum seekers in a safe and orderly fashion. It’s important to remember the gravity of this situation. Asylum seekers have been subjected to cruel—and even unknowing—relocation at the whim of Governor Greg Abbott and Republicans’ inhumane agenda. We need to uphold our country’s commitment as a welcoming nation formigrants, and that requires federal assistance. While I welcome this funding, it’s not enough to properly provide our city with the resources we need—and I’ll keep pushing for more funding to help our city and state,” said Durbin.

As Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Durbin has worked to deploy federal resources to assist cities and states—including the City of Chicago and state of Illinois—in receiving asylum seekers. The minibus that was signed into law included $650 million for the Shelter and Services Program, which Durbin advocated for.

Since the start of Governor Abbott’s cruel, inhumane, and partisan stunt dubbed, “Operation Lone Star,” more than 38,898 asylum seekers have been transported to Chicago from the U.S.-Mexico border. Durbin has pressed President Biden to make additional resources available, including funding and additional work permits. Durbin also introduced the Border Management, Security, and Assistance Act of 2023 with Senator Peters and 10 other Senate colleagues, which among other provisions, would provide $1.9 billion dollars in additional funding to the Shelter and Services program in support of local communities.

Last September, Durbin met with recent migrant arrivals in Chicago. In May, Durbin met with the Northside Refugee & Asylum Seeker Coalition to discuss ways to provide the Coalition with the necessary resources to assist the large number of refugees and asylum seekers in the Chicago area. Durbin also previously visited the Salvation Army Freedom Center in the Humboldt Park neighborhood in Chicago to meet with migrant families who were forced to come to Chicago from Texas by Governor Abbott.