Intentions may be good, but city, state policies aren’t fixing migrant crisis

Chicago may be the Windy City, but lately it is becoming known as the “WIBI City.”

WIBI stands for Well-Intentioned Bad Ideas. And Chicago is working overtime to corner the market on well-intentioned bad ideas.

The most recent example of WIBI-ism is the insane decision by the City of Chicago to attempt to solve the entire country’s immigration problems. Like all well-intentioned bad ideas, Chicago’s immigration policies are based on the foolish notion that simply throwing taxpayer money at a problem is a cure-all. Chicago, Cook County and the State of Illinois have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on programs and services for people — many who have come to Illinois illegally — and all they have managed to do is to make Illinois an even more attractive destination for undocumented immigrants.

The idea that Chicago can solve the immigration crisis is as absurd as trying to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool using a teaspoon. Chicago is not equipped to solve this problem and should not even try.

And the results bear this out, as the experiment to date has been a colossal failure. Beyond the fiscal concerns (which are substantial), the city’s immigration policies have created an unprecedented healthcare crisis. There are at least 56 documented cases of measles that have put public transportation and even some schools in jeopardy. We are also now being informed about cases of tuberculosis springing up.

Instead of being open and honest about what is happening, Chicago leaders have attempted to conceal the full extent of the health concerns and have refused to require kids at migrant shelters to get vaccinated. The MMR vaccine and TB shots would stop the spread of these diseases, but the rights of people here illegally trump the rights of citizens in the eyes of the confederacy of dunces running the WIBI City.

During the pandemic, schools were shut down and when in-person learning returned, our kids were forced to wear masks all day, every day. And it was not just kids who had to comply with COVID-19 restrictions. If you wanted to go to a bar and enjoy a beverage, then you needed to show your vaccine papers before even being allowed into the establishment. Vaccines and masks were mandatory for citizens, but come to our state illegally, and the rules no longer apply.

And now, the mayor is advocating for work permits for the undocumented immigrants in our state and demanding even more of our tax dollars to cover the escalating costs associated with their care. It is time to stop trying to solve problems we can’t solve.

The desire to care for undocumented illegal immigrants may be well-intentioned, but our response to this crisis is the very essence of a bad idea. It is time to end the Sanctuary State and Sanctuary City policies. It is time for our leaders to demand that the federal government secure our borders. The actions taken to house, clothe and feed undocumented and illegal immigrants fails to address the problems we are facing in a meaningful way. These short-term solutions are simply not sustainable.

We are bleeding resources at an alarming rate without even asking if what we are doing is making a difference. Worse, a television news report found a disturbing lack of transparency about the costs the city is paying. After reviewing one four-week billing by a company employing 400 workers on a contract to provide migrant services, the report speculated that taxpayer money could be paying the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of dollars a year per employee.

How is putting people in shelters where they are being exposed to measles and other diseases and not vaccinating them a humane solution to the immigration crisis? We are hurting not only the very people our leaders are trying to help, we're hurting everyone else as well.

Let’s end the Well-Intentioned Bad Ideas and develop sensible, workable policies that can lead to manageable and realistic long-term solutions instead of the disastrous short-term fixes that are helping no one.

State Rep. Martin McLaughlin is a Republican from Barrington Hills.

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