Chicago: Where Reason, Logic and Commonsense Go to Die
Okay, so Chicago is not alone. The country is littered with places that serve as graveyards for common sense. But this week is Chicago’s moment in the spotlight.
Like a lot of other sanctuary jurisdictions, Chicago is seeing an influx of migrants – most arriving courtesy of the Biden administration’s open-borders policies, while others are sent there by other jurisdictions that are being overwhelmed by those same federal policies.
Shortly before leaving office in May, outgoing Mayor Lori Lightfoot declared a state of emergency, claiming that the city’s resources were being stretched thin by the migration crisis. The emergency has not abated; if anything, it has gotten worse. Last week angry citizens sounded-off to local leaders about the growing numbers of migrants being sheltered in community facilities, demanding that city officials do something. “They disrespect us, they rob us, they harass us,” one woman complained.
Chicago’s new mayor, Brandon Johnson, did something. The good news is that he came up with a plan. The bad news is that the plan entails making Chicago even more accommodating to illegal migrants. The 223-page report, A Blueprint for Creating a More Just and Vibrant City for All, devotes 12 pages to how Chicago can “be inclusive of migrant and refugee communities to make Chicago a true Welcoming City” – regardless of their legal status, of course.
In a public school system where 85 percent of the student body is black or Hispanic, and where only 25 percent of students can read at grade level and only 21 percent can do math at grade level, Mayor Johnson’s plan calls for scrapping programs that focus on teaching non-English-speakers to speak English. The report says it’s time to “Move away from transitional bilingual education,” and instead create “programs that value and teach both English and native heritage languages,” because, God knows, that will prepare kids for the challenges they will face as adults. And, notwithstanding the city’s $128 million budget deficit, the plan also calls for lots of new public services, provided in lots of different languages for all the new people who continue to show up.
The illogic does not end at Chicago city limits. Thanks to a bill signed into law this week by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, many of these newly arrived illegal aliens will soon become eligible to become police officers in the state of Illinois. Under House Bill 3751, “an individual who is not a citizen but is legally authorized to work in the United States under federal law is authorized to apply for the position of a police officer, subject to all requirements and limitations, other than citizenship, to which other applicants are subject.”
“Legally authorized to work” is not the same as being a legal resident of the United States, much less a citizen. The people being allowed to enter the country to pursue mostly frivolous asylum claims are illegal aliens, but they are being granted work authorization because they are likely to be here for a long time while they game the system. HB 3751 dovetails nicely with Chicago’s stated goal of opening up city employment to immigrant communities, such as becoming police officers. In that capacity they might be instrumental in carrying out another of the Mayor Johnson’s stated goals, dismantling the police department’s Criminal Enterprise Information System (CEIS) aka, the “Gang Database.” Never mind that criminal gangs put everyone in Chicago at risk, what the authors of the plan worry most about is that having a list of known gang members “puts heritage migrant and refugee communities at risk by criminalizing these communities, impacting their access to employment, housing, and education.”
Nowadays, when you step through the looking glass it’s a crap shoot where you will wind up. But thanks to the work of the mayor, the governor, and the Illinois Legislature, there’s a fair chance it will be in Chicago.