April 24, 2023
By William Davis
With the election of a new mayor in Chicago recently, many in the city were hopeful for a better future after the disastrous reign of Lori Lightfoot. Those hopes were quickly dashed when Mayor-Elect Brandon Johnson affirmed his commitment to defunding police and allowing illegal aliens to vote, among other radical ideas. To those who said the Lightfoot years were Chicago’s low point, Johnson says, “Hold my beer.”
Johnson ran on a platform of expanding public benefits to illegal aliens, and allowing them to vote in local elections. This follows the enactment of recent laws in New York City and Washington, D.C., giving illegal aliens access to the ballot box (New York’s law was later struck down in state court). The incoming mayor has called on the Illinois state government to pass legislation allowing “all parents and taxpayers to vote in school board elections, regardless of citizenship status.” Illinois already expanded benefits to illegal aliens last year, instituting a program that gives free health care to those in the country illegally between the ages of 55 and 64.
Under Johnson’s leadership, expect Chicago to challenge New York for the title of America’s most dangerous sanctuary city. While the city was already a haven for illegal aliens under Lightfoot’s leadership, Johnson promises to go even further than his ousted predecessor.
In addition to giving illegal aliens access to the franchise, Johnson’s platform calls for giving them permanent housing and taxpayer-funded legal services . Johnson has also pledged to appoint noncitizens to government positions. These sweeping plans could make Chicago the premiere destination for illegal aliens, even as productive, law-abiding U.S. citizens continue to flee the decaying city.
Chicago has experienced the slowest population growth of any major city in the 21st century, and has lost a total of one million residents since 1950, according to a study produced by the University of Illinois Chicago. It is, by all accounts, a city in decline, and has been one for some time. The city’s high crime rate and exploding gang violence have made it uninhabitable for many Americans who only wish to work and raise their families. Rather than change course and improve public safety, Chicago is doubling down on policies that have produced chaos and disorder.
Chicago’s Cook County, recorded at least 1,957 opioid-related deaths in 2022, largely driven by the surge of fentanyl coming through the U.S.-Mexico border. The number of opioid-related deaths in Cook County has tripled in just the last seven years, and is likely being undercounted. The decision to make Chicago even more of a magnet for illegal aliens at a time when its residents are being killed in record numbers by drugs coming across the border flies in the face of common sense. Much like the Lightfoot Administration, Johnson’s mayoralty can be counted on to put extremist ideology over public safety.
While drug overdoses continue to surge, Chicago also remains the undisputed murder capital of the U.S. The city recorded 697 homicides in 2022, by far the most of any American city. The atmosphere in modern Chicago is one of constant fear, death, and despair. It is hard to think of any major city in U.S. history that has experienced the complete collapse in quality of life and the rule of law that Chicago has in recent decades. Yet, its leaders continue to floor the gas pedal to oblivion.
Chicago’s proud sanctuary status has played a significant role in its decline. Lawlessness begets lawlessness. When Chicago rewards aliens for the unlawful act of entering the U.S. illegally, it sends a loud and clear message that the rule of law in the city is malleable, which eventually leads to its erosion. Therefore, it is no surprise that Chicago and other major “sanctuary cities” have been besieged by increasing levels of violent crime in recent years. Sanctuary policies are fundamentally an attack on the rule of law, and they make all of us less safe.
Despite skyrocketing violent crime and drug-related deaths, Chicago has made it clear they will continue the policies that led to those horrific outcomes in the first place. Instead of attempting to reverse its tragic decline, the city seems destined to sink further into the abyss. Ultimately, law-abiding American citizens looking to make a better life for themselves will pay the biggest price.
William J. Davis is a communications associate for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.
Also published at Daily Caller, April 22, 2023.
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