Migrant Population in IL Increases by 821% over Two Years

A recent Bloomberg News report points to the massive influx of migrants who are heading to Illinois once they enter the United States. The article examined the addresses provided by migrants for immigration court cases. According to the report’s metrics, there was an increase of 821% in the number of migrants listing an Illinois address from just 2021 to 2023.

Governor JB Pritzker has made it a major priority of his administration to provide services for migrants, stating that he wanted to make Illinois the Most Welcoming State in the Nation for non-citizens. Illinois is one of just two states providing free healthcare for non-citizens, along with numerous other taxpayer-funded services. When Pritzker took office, spending on non-citizen programs was just a few million dollars per year, but that has ballooned to roughly $1 billion per year over the last two years.

Last week, the Governor presented his annual budget proposal, including $1 billion in tax increases on families and businesses. It’s no coincidence that the Governor’s tax hike proposals so closely match up with the amount his administration has been spending on migrant services. It’s clear the Governor needs to focus on programs helping Illinois citizens, most importantly on our vulnerable populations like veterans, the disabled, and seniors, instead of using the taxpayers as an ATM to fund his myriad of programs for migrants.

I have created a petition you can sign if you are opposed to the $1 billion in Pritzker tax hikes that would support programs for migrants. Click here to sign the petition.

Woodstock Officials Visit Springfield to Discuss State, Local Issues

It was my pleasure recently to welcome leaders from the City of Woodstock to the Capitol. On Tuesday, February 20, Senate Republican Leader John Curran and I had an opportunity to sit down with (L to R) Woodstock City Manager Roscoe Stelford, Trustee Gordie Tebo, and Mayor Mike Turner.

I always enjoy it when those who live and/or work in the 32nd Senate District visit their State Capitol. In the case of the Woodstock officials, we had a nice conversation about state and local issues of interest and concern.

If you ever have plans to visit the Springfield Capitol while the legislature is in session, please let my Springfield office know ahead of time so we can be sure to get together. Visits can be scheduled by calling my office at (217) 782-8000, or by emailing the office at wilcox@ilsenategop.org.

Legislative Audit Commission Criticizes DCEO’s Handling of COVID-19 Program

On Feb. 20, the Legislative Audit Commission held a hearing at the Illinois State Capitol to review the state audit findings of the Business Interruption Grant Program, which allocated $585 million to help small businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Office of the Auditor General’s audit revealed that $11 million was paid out to ineligible participants under the state program as a result of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s (DCEO) decision to use their own eligibility category for the small-business portion of the program instead of what the General Assembly passed.

DECO chose to use the pre-existing Grant Accountability and Transparency Act to justify hiring an outside vendor to delegate the program’s funds, resulting in higher costs.

During the Legislative Audit Commission hearing, Senate Republicans questioned the decision to hire outside community partners to distribute the funds and were particularly critical of the disclosure that one of those outside partners had made a $5,000 campaign donation to former DCEO Assistant Director Michael Negron, who served as one of the lead main grant administrators.

Craig Wilcox

Want to stay up to date with Senator Wilcox?

Sign up for his E-Newsletter below: