(The Center Square) – The city of Chicago is sending a delegation to the southern U.S. border this week. However, some believe Mayor Brandon Johnson staying home defeats the purpose.
Over the past 13 months, Chicago has seen more than 16,000 migrants show up in the Windy City after being bused from Texas, where they crossed the southern U.S. border.
Johnson said he would send Deputy Mayor of Immigration Beatriz Ponce de Leon and others to the border to survey it this week. This comes after Johnson said last week that he would be making the trip when he had time.
“I am going to the border as soon as possible,” Johnson said. “I got to coordinate that with running the government and making sure that my wife and children are secure as well.”
State Rep. La Shawn Ford, D-Chicago, told The Center Square that there is no need for Johnson to go on this “field trip” to the border.
“The only reason the mayor would go is if there was an executive meeting,” Ford said. “If the mayor is going to meet with their mayor and the governor is going to be there to meet with their governor to come up with a plan, then I think that’s necessary.”
Ford said the delegation is going without a plan.
“Going there without having a strategy to meet with the actual people that are putting the migrants on the bus, maybe something that may not be the best approach,” Ford said.
Illinois Republicans also are criticizing Johnson for reversing course.
“Mayor Johnson, though he talked a big game during the campaign, he has abjectly failed to follow through on his promises,” the statement reads. “Johnson’s campaign website says ‘Chicago must lead with and live by the promise to be a sanctuary city and welcome immigrants and refugees and treat them with dignity and respect … We must coordinate efforts with local communities with the infrastructure to support displaced immigrants and refugees and coordinate efforts at all levels of government to provide humane conditions for everyone.’ Tent cities and cots in airport terminals hardly qualifies as treating migrants with dignity and respect.”
State and city officials who have talked with The Center Square believe more migrants will continue to arrive in the coming months.