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Illinois Spent $195 Million on Immigrant Welcoming Centers


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Real Clear Investigations

In 2023, the State of Illinois spent $195 million on Immigrant Welcoming Centers to welcome immigrants and refugees to Illinois, with plans to spend another $105 million on them in 2024.

An Immigrant Welcome Center is a “comprehensive service center for the integration of immigrants and refugees in Illinois,” according to the State of Illinois, and it “eliminates systemic barriers that immigrants may have in approaching state services.”

 

These centers help inform immigrants and refugees of state services and welfare benefits like Medicaid and SNAP. The state website lists 36 such centers throughout the state.

In FY23, the $195 million was funded with $115 million from the general fund and $80 million from other funding sources.

In FY24, Gov. J.B. Pritzker wants to spend $105 million on these centers, with $25 million coming from the general fund and $80 million from other funding sources.

Activist and former Illinois gubernatorial candidate Jeanne Ives exposed the $115 million in funding from the state general fund in FY2023 in a tweet.

These centers and resources will presumably be open to all immigration statuses, including illegal immigrants, as Illinois and Chicago are both sanctuaries for illegal immigrants that have announced they will not cooperate with federal authorities to enforce immigration laws. Governor Pritzker hopes to make Illinois “the most welcoming state in the nation.”:snip:

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