illinois lawmakers voice concern over rising costs to care for immigrants
Last updated on May 8th, 2023 at 05:12 am
In recent news, some Republican lawmakers have voiced concerns over the rising costs of providing food, healthcare and other essential services for undocumented immigrants, saying the growing pressure will overwhelm Illinois’ healthcare and overall budget.
Governor J B Pritzker said since August, the US state has provided $240 million for migrants arriving from places like Texas.
The governor and the Illinois Immigrant Impact Task Force released a report highlighting several issues affecting migrants and refugees, and sharing recommendations in order to improve services to immigrant communities.
The Task Force identified a number of issues in the legislation, including immigration detention, citizenship assistance, COVID-19 relief, education access, business development, discrimination prevention, and language access programs.
State Representative Aaron Ortiz shared his optimism over Illinois becoming a model for the rest of the country in supporting immigrants, adding several recommendations outlined in the report will help every Illinois resident contribute to the state’s vibrant communities.
A new report from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Service showed it will cost around a billion dollars in 2024 to offer healthcare services to undocumented immigrants. Far exceeding earlier estimates, there will be an additional 108,000 undocumented immigrants requiring care in the coming year, the report estimates.
Illinois is the only US state that fully covers healthcare for undocumented immigrants aged 42 or older, State Senator Dave Syverson said. When these migrants are crossing the border and realise they have a health condition, Illinois is the first state they recall, he added.
Syverson further highlighted that the state could get inundated when the Trump-era policy Title 42 – that allows immigrants to be removed – gets lifted next week and the US border opens up to a greater number of people.
He said if the Biden administration is going to keep the border open, then federal taxpayers should be taking care of the costs and not asking Illinois taxpayers to put aside certain programs.