Chicago, a sanctuary city, recently announced a $538 million budget deficit, with a significant portion attributed to the costs associated with caring for new migrants arriving in the city. The crisis is projected to cost more than $255 million by the end of the year. While Chicago’s sanctuary city designation is intended to create a welcoming atmosphere for individuals without legal immigration status, it has also made the city a target for buses of migrants sent by Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Abbott argues that these cities encourage the migrant crisis in his state.
New York City, another sanctuary city, has faced similar financial challenges. Mayor Eric Adams warned that the crisis, with over 110,000 migrant arrivals in the past year, could “destroy” the city and cost $12 billion by 2025. Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass expressed concerns that her city could be the next destination for planes carrying migrants.
Denver, which limits cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) but is not officially a sanctuary city, has also experienced financial strain due to an increase in migrants. The city has spent over $23 million since December, with costs reaching up to $1,000 per migrant per week.
These sanctuary cities, while aiming to provide a safe haven for migrants, are grappling with the financial consequences of accommodating a significant influx of individuals. Local leaders have called for federal assistance, increased funding, expedited work authorizations, and federal emergency declarations to address the challenges posed by the migrant crisis.