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Winnebago County will only use taxpayer funds to send migrants to Chicago, Board decides

Winnebago County will only use taxpayer funds to send migrants to Chicago, Board decides

Mar 29, 2024
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Winnebago County Board has voted to adopt a plan that would restrict taxpayer resources to be used on migrants only in an emergency situation, to send abandoned foreign citizens to the Chicago Landing Zone.

The resolution would restrict the County from using any taxpayer monies from being used for long-term housing, medical expenses, or any other needs of migrants who have gained illegal entry into the United States.

It would allow for funds to be used in an emergency situation, such as providing the cost of transportation to the Chicago Landind Zone and temporary shelter, food, water, and medical care.

“The purpose of the resolution is to assure taxpayers that the County Board is utilizing tax dollars responsibly and legally,” said District 7 Board Member Paul Arena (R), who authored the resolution. “It does not prohibit immigrants from coming to Winnebago County at their own expense to make this community their home.”

The resolution was put forward after a plane full of undocumented migrants was flown to the Chicago Rockford International Airport from Texas on New Year’s Eve.

In December, Texas began sending planeloads of migrants, in addition to buses, to Chicago and other cities with “sanctuary” policies for migrants who illegally crossed the southern border into the United States, as part of Operation Lone Star.

The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department escorted nine charter buses to the McHenry County line. Instead of arriving at the Chicago Landing Zone, they were dropped off in the suburbs, according to reports.

Chicago’s “sanctuary city” ordinance was signed by Democratic former Mayor Lori Lightfoot in 2021, in response to former President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, which included building a border wall with Mexico and conducting immigration raids in major cities.

The Welcoming City ordinance forbids Chicago Police from cooperating with federal immigration authorities.

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