Senate Commerce Republicans probe Chicago’s migrant shelters at airports, warn of 'illegal immigrant magnet'

 : Republicans on the Senate Commerce Committee are investigating the housing of illegal immigrants at the city's two airports in Chicago — asking whether the city is violating funding requirements, and accusing the city with its sanctuary city policy of "illegal immigrants." Accusing him of being an "immigrant magnet".

Republicans, led by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, have written to Mayor Brandon Johnson about his moves to house migrants at O'Hare International Airport since March and more recently at Midway International Airport. Last year, photos emerged of hundreds of migrants camping in a section of the airport at O'Hare. It comes as the city struggles to deal with an influx of thousands of migrants from mid-2022.

"Repurposing airport facilities and infrastructure to house illegal aliens not only diminishes taxpayers' investment in the national airport system, but, at least in the case of O'Hare, because federally funded airport facilities are public Removed from access and use, this violates the requirement that these federally funded facilities be 'available for public use as airports.'"

He says, "No rational person would define an airport as a facility where illegal aliens live."

They also note Chicago's status as a "sanctuary city" and say Texas Governor Greg Abbott's opposition to busing of migrants shows that the city is "working overtime to avoid things like this."

"Just recently, you described sending illegal aliens to Chicago as 'sowing the seeds of anarchy,' implying that Texas Governor Greg Abbott is motivated by racial animus and his voluntary deportation of illegal aliens to sanctuary cities. The transportation program is 'attacking ... cities that are led by black leaders or leaders of color,' and he asked the federal government and American taxpayers to pick up the bill for Chicago's decision to violate federal law. Demanded,' he says.

It also highlights the dispute between the city and United Airlines and American Airlines regarding a new terminal at O'Hare, and asks whether the city is "trying to squeeze more money out of United and American because you have a Are struggling to recoup the costs of "sanctuary cities."

Lawmakers are asking about the number of migrants being held at airports, the associated costs, the dangers it poses, whether it has received any federal waivers and whether it has consulted with TSA on matters of aviation safety and security.

“Instead of advocating for border communities to shoulder the burden alone, we encourage you to use the authorities at your disposal to advocate for border and transportation security, enforcement of immigration laws, and reversing the illegal immigrant magnet. Consider that's Chicago's misguided sanctuary city policy," he says.

In December, Johnson praised his administration's efforts to provide housing, health care and schooling for immigrants arriving in the city, but appealed for additional federal help. He is one of a coalition of mayors who have asked for more than $5 billion in aid from the federal government.

"Instead of chaos what I've worked to do is provide some structure and calm around the situation and without significant federal support, it's not sustainable," Johnson said.

“I have said over and over again that we need more resources,” he said.

"[W]ithout real significant investment from our federal government, it won't just be the city of Chicago that won't be able to sustain this mission; it's the entire country that is now at stake," Johnson said.

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