Joliet Council Member Says They Were Blindsided By Migrant Funding

Joliet officials and others tell WJOL that they were blind sided by the millions of dollars being granted to Joliet Township to help with the thousands of migrants arriving in Illinois in the last few months. One Joliet City Council member says they were blind sided. They didn’t know that Supervisor Angel Contreras of the Joliet Township had secured the $8.6 million dollars.

Meanwhile, Illinois State Senator Rachel Ventura says Contreras had mentioned that Joliet Township would be a getting a large amount of money but didn’t know the details and nor did she hear from the governor’s office. Local officials say they want to know how and where the money will be spent and in what areas.

Six Chicago-area local governments will receive more than $41 million in taxpayer funded grants from the state of Illinois to serve some of the 15,000 non-citizen migrant arrivals.

Governor JB Pritzker’s administration announced Friday Chicago is getting more than $30 million in new grants. The city of Joliet is getting $8.6 million. Elgin is getting nearly $1.3 million. Lake County will get $1 million. The city of Urbana will get $250,000 while Oak Park will get $150,000. The money will be used for direct services like shelter, food, legal support and health care. Pritzker said in a statement Illinois is “a welcoming state.”

To date, Pritzker’s office said the state has contributed $328 million overall to support asylum seekers.