Posted on December 21, 2023

Furious Chicago Resident Rips Into Mayor Brandon Johnson for Throwing Open the Door to Thousands of Migrants

Alex Hammer, Daily Mail, December 19, 2023

A black resident of Chicago was filmed berating Mayor Brandon Johnson over the city’s current ‘sanctuary’ status for migrants and the progressive’s failure to bring funds to more at-risk communities.

The exchange was recorded at the Chicago City Council’s special meeting Thursday, called to consider whether residents should vote on a referendum on the city’s sanctuary status for the upcoming year.

The meeting was thus filled with debate, and drew a fierce statement from a woman who billed herself as a Chicago native born and bred, Lauren Lawrence,

Speaking as Johnson stood at his podium, Lawrence lamented how she and others have witnessed a ‘transition’ that left citizens in the lurch, almost ‘as if a lot of people are not important here.’

She said: ‘I’m not against anyone coming in here legally. I want to say that clearly. But for those who have not, they don’t top us. They don’t go before us. We’re not last in line.’

The heated interaction comes months after the city spent nearly $1million to build a migrant camp that was suddenly scrapped a few weeks ago, and as more than 25,000 migrants have entered the city since last year.

‘I’m not for the sanctuary city,’ an emotional Lawrence at first began, before tearing into the relatively new mayor after a disastrous four years of Lori Lightfoot.

She continued: ‘And the reason why I’m not for the sanctuary city is because people have waited years to come in here legally.’

Citing the mass of arrivals and the more than 13,000 migrants currently embroiled in Chicago’s shelter system, she went on to pan city officials for continuing where Lightfoot left off.

She said of asylum seekers being brought into Illinois’ biggest city by the busload: ‘Not just transported on these buses, dropped off in our neighborhood.’

Mentioning the city’s recent rise in crime, she claimed to have ‘almost got hit several times just making it down [to the meeting].

‘This is ludicrous,’ she continued, pointing to a supposed double standard spawned by the city’s current migrants crisis that has cost taxpayers $250million this year.

‘There should not be two sets of laws,’ she declared, as residents of in-need neighborhoods like the city’s South Side have been left on in the figurative – and at times, literal – cold.

Lawrence proceeded to turn her attention to Chicago’s notorious inner city, which she painted as a victim of the city’s continued sanctuary status.

She suggested Johnson – a man brought up in a suburb of Cook County – had let down these predominantly black communities, simply by continuing Lightfoot’s guidance.

‘The West Side and the South Side black communities have been earmarked for having funds – never seen it,’ Lawrence said of what she billed as a misallocation of city money.

‘We’re still waiting those funds to come into those communities.’

She then turned to Johnson, who after emerging out of the gate as an unknown in a mass of competitive candidates this year, raised eyebrows with a lofty plan to reallocate law enforcement funds to other services like housing and education.

‘Brandon Johnson, many people stood behind you,’ Lawrence at first stated, before giving a rousing speech that caused officials to abruptly bring the Rules Committee meeting to an end, despite it being called to get citizens’ takes on the migrant situation.

‘They feel let down, because the day you came into office, which I believe was May 15, you already had signed an executive order,’ she said, citing an early Johnson order that created the city’s first-ever ‘deputy mayor for immigrant, migrant and refugee rights.’

The guidance instructed all city officials to take direction from the migrant mayor, Beatriz Ponce De León, ‘to ensure the efficacy of Chicago’s status as a welcoming and sanctuary city.’

More than five months removed from León’s appointment, the city is still struggling with how to address the increasing influx of asylum seekers, with Johnson in October warning that 22 busloads a day would likely be the new norm.

Just last week, the situation was revealed to be worse than originally thought, when records showed the city spent almost $1million on a shuttered migrant camp at a Brighton Park lot – despite warnings the site was not safe after toxic chemicals and heavy metals were found onsite.

The plans were scraped weeks before a five-year-old boy fell ill and was pronounced dead at one of Chicago’s spread-thin shelters on Monday – at a warehouse with no heating housing thousands of other migrants.

Videos from inside showed coughing and crying children, some so cold they were wearing snow jackets, as water leaked from the ceiling onto the cots below.

The shelter, meanwhile is run by Favorite Healthcare Staffing, one of several contractors the city has paid tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to since September 2022 to run these ‘temporary’ shelters.

Despite there being 27 meant to accommodate thousands, more than 300 migrants remain living at police stations waiting for placement into a facility.

The death of the child, meanwhile – after being identified by community members as Jean Carlo Martínez Rivero – is now being investigated, though an autopsy by Cook County medical examiner on Monday supposedly came back inconclusive.

At another meeting Monday where Johnson also faced heat, the former teacher said the blame for Jean’s death laid squarely with southern governors like Texas’s Gregg Abbott, for busing in migrants by the thousand to the so-called sanctuary city.

‘They’re just dropping off people anywhere,’ Johnson argued, days after the migrant meeting where Lawrence spoke was called off over the outpour of criticism.

‘Do you understand how raggedy and how evil that is,’ he continued of the Southern state’s practices, which essentially made good on city’s like Chicago’s statements touting its ‘sanctuary’ status.

‘And then you want to hold us accountable for something that’s happening down at the border?’ the former Cook County commissioner said, before claiming that many of the asylum-seekers arriving in Chicago are already unwell due to the conditions they face at the border.

‘Do you hear me? They’re showing up sick,’ he said of the bussed arrivals. ‘The issue is not just how we respond in the city of Chicago, it’s the fact that we have a governor — a governor, an elected official in the state of Texas — that is placing families on buses without shoes, cold, wet, tired, hungry, afraid, traumatized.’

He continued: ‘And then they come to the city of Chicago where we have homelessness, we have mental health clinics that have been shut down and closed.

‘The governor of Texas needs to take a look in the mirror [and see] the chaos that he is causing for this country.’

Claiming it was ‘not just a Chicago dynamic,’ he insisted that men like Abbott – who started sending out bussed after being publicly challenged Lightfoot and New York Mayor Eric Adams – are ‘attacking our country.’

On Thursday, Lawrence questioned whether Johnson was following Illinois Governor JB Pritzker’s directive in his attempts to address the crisis, or was actually ignoring at-risk communities in favor of the constant stream of migrants.

‘Now, whether it came from Gov. Pritzker or whomever that directed you on this, is it fair to these communities that have been waiting for years?’ she said.

Bringing up promises made by Johnson over the course of his upset campaign – including that public safety would remain the city’s top concern even amid the migrant situation – Lawrence cited how crime remains an issue across most of Chicago, particularly in the aforementioned problem areas.

‘You said you on the West side, but you should know what’s going on over there as well,’ Lawrence said.

‘When are you going to have our neighborhoods cleaned up? And when are we going to get the rights that we deserve?’

The decision drew criticism from Alderman Anthony Beale, who told officials before they exited: ‘We need to wake up. That’s all we’re trying to do, y’all.

Lawrence then brought up the long list of lawful Chicagoans she said were also in need – veterans, the homeless, and average, everyday citizens.

‘They need to be taken care of,’ she explained, growing increasingly animated. ‘They need to stop being neglected. Because if we don’t have a voice here, we will have a voice out there.’

As she spoke, a chorus of voices from the crowd rose up to agree – spurring the council to adjourn prematurely without considering the sanctuary status referendum vote.

The decision, made to avoid an incident, quickly drew criticism from Alderman Anthony Beale, who told officials before they exited: ‘We need to wake up. That’s all we’re trying to do, y’all.

‘Our people are demanding change. They’re demanding resources, and they’re demanding that we do something different in this body.’

Meanwhile, crime remains an issue in the Windy City, particularly in the long-suffering neighborhoods Lawrence mentioned.

According to the city’s most recent crime data, incidents have actually risen by a drastic 17 percent from this time last year, when it was still in the midst of a post-pandemic crime wave.

That spate of crime, in many respects, has gone on to continue, with robberies up 23 percent and incidents of theft and sexual assault slightly up as well.

According to the city’s most recent crime data, incidents have actually risen by a drastic 17 percent from this time last year, when it was still in the midst of a post-pandemic crime wave. That spate of crime, in many respects, has gone on to continue, with robberies up 23 percent and incidents of theft and sexual assault slightly up as well

‘But we are afraid of the truth,’ Beale said Thursday, before the conditions at the Pilsen shelter – one of 26 temporary shelters that house 12,000 travelers – was unmasked.

‘Crime is running rampant,’ he continued. ‘Our schools are in trouble. We’re spending hundreds, millions of dollars on people that don’t even pay taxes and live in the city.’

He went on: ‘I’m all for taking care of people. I get it. I am sympathetic as well.

‘However, I’m more sympathetic for the people in my community that have been paying taxes their entire life, can’t get a furnace, can’t get a roof, can’t get a hot water heater, can’t get a back porch.

‘There’s no conscionable way we should be voting on hundreds of millions of dollars to just, you know, go to Brighton Park, only to have the whole thing blown up.’

As of Tuesday, more than 25,000 people have arrived in Chicago from the southern border since August 2022, with most coming from Central American countries like Venezuela and not Mexico.

Meanwhile, after only achieving a win in a May runoff by 26,000 votes, Johnson has tried to appeal to those who didn’t back him in the election, stocking his transition team with familiar names from Chicago corporations and philanthropies beside leaders of organized labor and progressive groups.

His office in Monday – after being confronted with the five-year-old’s death – said the city had resettled or reunited more than 10,000 migrants and was sheltering 13,992 at 27 temporary shelters.