by Jimmy Lee Tillman, II -Candidate for US House IL-01
Over one million legal immigrants come to the United States every year after a long and often rigorous vetting process. Archaic immigration rules coupled with very little enforcement has only increased the crisis we are seeing at the border.
Inadequate border security is the leading cause of the outlandish drug and gang-related deaths we are witnessing in Chicago. It is reported that 90 percent of the heroin in America comes through our southern border; along with other drugs and guns, this crisis finds itself smack dab in the middle of our communities fueling gang wars, destroying families and neighborhoods, and killing thousands of people.
Human smugglers are exploiting our immigration system for profit and putting innocent lives at risk. Many missing Black girls and women from the South Side are suspected of being victims of human trafficking.
The border crisis is real and a failure to do anything about it is irresponsible. To protect our communities, the Trump Administration is requesting funds for common sense border security. This ask includes:
- $5.7 billion for construction of approximately 234 miles of a steel barrier along the Southern Border
- $675 million to deter and detect dangerous materials crossing our borders like narcotics and weapons
- $563 million that would provide for 75 additional immigration judges and support staff who are necessary to reduce the backlog of immigration cases that are sitting right now at the border
- $211 million for 750 additional border patrol agents, who DHS officials have deemed paramount to this fight
- $571 million for additional ICE personnel
- $4.2 billion for detention center materials and personnel
Our Congress must work non-stop to combat this crisis by passing a spending bill that provides the funding that the President has requested. In addition to obtaining increased border security funding today, we must continue to work toward real common-sense reforms to our legal immigration system. These necessary reforms include adopting a skills-based immigration system, closing loopholes in the asylum claim process, and ending chain migration.