(The Center Square) – A Chicago state representative has called on the state to refuse to host the Democratic National Convention until the city receives federal funding for migrant care. Mayor Brandon Johnson is not on board with that idea, however.
The DNC will be hosted in downtown Chicago in August as the city deals with more than 35,000 migrant arrivals from the southern border.
State officials have been calling on President Joe Biden to provide extra federal funding for the issue. State Rep. Kam Buckner, D-Chicago, floated the idea of refusing to host the convention until then.
“If Chicago doesn’t get federal help for its housing crisis, it should pass on hosting the DNC,” Buckner wrote in the Chicago Tribune. “I realize this is a bold and unprecedented suggestion, but our situation is also unprecedented, and we must act with that in mind.”
Johnson seemed to shoot down the idea Wednesday.
“Whether you have the DNC coming to your town or not, the DNC isn’t going to New York,” Johnson said. “They have just as much as a right to federal funds as the city that will host the DNC.”
Johnson said the migrant issue isn’t a Chicago-centric issue.
“It can’t just be about the city of Chicago, that’s all I am trying to express,” Johnson said. “If we make this just about the city of Chicago, we are missing it. This is an international global population shift that is here.”
New York has seen more than 60,000 migrant arrivals and is estimated to spend a billion dollars in taxpayer funds. Illinois spent over $500 million on migrant care in 2023 alone.
Texas has borne the brunt of the crisis, with millions illegally crossing into the state since Biden took office.
The DNC is scheduled to take place Aug. 19-22 at the United Center.