Black Chicago residents criticized city officials for funding migrants over their community, they said during a city council meeting Wednesday.
The statements from angry residents came before the city council voted to allocate $51 million to support migrants in Chicago, according to a livestream of the meeting. The residents shamed the city council for considering the funding as the city faces homeless and mental health crises within its own populations.
Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott began busing migrants from the southern border to the Windy City in August 2022, and, since then, roughly 2,000 have arrived through the effort. (RELATED: Biden Hits Record Low Approval Rating For Handling Of Immigration: POLL)
“I understand that $51 million are gonna be voted on today and I encourage the alderman to please vote it down because number one, we have not opened up the schools for our homeless, we see them in the streets everyday, I make sure that the homeless are fed with clothing,” Caroline Ruff, Black Lives Matter Women of Faith founder, said during Wednesday’s meeting. “We need to take care of our community, we need to take care of our black community, we need to open up these schools for mental health.”
“We have not gotten anything for our community and we are sick and tired … enough is enough,” Ruff said.
Another resident, Andre Smith, said he and another individual stopped a migrant bus and were arrested during the situation. Smith advocated that the city put the funds towards reparations.
“How dare this mayor and city council have the guts to give migrants $51 million. I demand you to have the same passion and urgency to pass the City of Chicago Reparations Ordinance and also give us a office for black Americans, just like the new Americans,” Smith, the CEO of Chicago Against Violence, said.
“We didn’t have the luxury or the opportunity to cross the border. We didn’t have the privilege to cross the border. We came over here being raped, stolen, beaten, chained in the bottom of ships, and you give migrants $51 million? Have you forgot who you are?,” Smith said, adding that “our ancestors are looking at us and holding us accountable, don’t say you black if you not gonna put your pen where your mouth is.”
“I suggest that they should not be housed in impoverished and marginalized black and brown communities, where we have food shortages and homelessness, but in more affluent communities, where there are many more resources,” Walt Kendrick, a Chicago resident and activist, said after being booed by the crowd for supporting the funding.
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