House Minority Leader Tony McCombie met with former Congresswoman Mayra Flores to discuss the ongoing migrant crisis affecting Illinois, which includes a potential supplemental budget. Congresswoman Flores won the special election for Texas’ 34th Congressional District and became the first Mexican-born woman to serve in Congress — and one of a few Republicans to ever represent the Rio Grande Valley in Washington, D.C. She discussed her experience living in and representing a border district, and reflected on the failed federal border policies of the current administration.
Earlier this year, Leader McCombie traveled to McAllen, Texas, which is located in Flores’ district, to witness the border crisis firsthand. “Immigration is no longer just a federal issue, but is affecting all of us at the national, state, and even local levels,” said McCombie. “In Texas, I met the folks who protect, process, and assist migrants, including law enforcement, border patrol agents, and humanitarian aid workers. My experience in Texas made me realize just how massive and complicated this issue is. Texas, Florida, Arizona, and other states should not be left to deal with this issue alone. However, the current situation is not working for Illinois, and poor policymaking and a lack of transparency from Democrats has made it much worse.”
Over the last six months Illinois has felt the impact of this crisis: from healthcare coverage for the undocumented exceeding the appropriated amount within one single month, to $160 million of state funds shifted – without legislative oversight – in just the last six weeks. The City of Chicago’s disastrous response to this crisis has only further exacerbated the problem, leading Governor Pritzker to come in with his own plan without any discussion from Republicans.
The General Assembly will now consider a supplemental budget bill to cover costs for both asylum seekers as well as undocumented immigrants and McCombie is asking for House Republicans to be included in those discussions.
“House Republicans, representing parts of all 102 counties, want and need to be part of the discussion to ensure a transparent process for working families. Illinoisans cannot afford more taxes to pay for unfunded programs that are spiraling out of control. We must be disciplined now so we can continue to fund our priorities – education, job growth, public safety, and caring for our most vulnerable citizens.”