Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued an executive order April 7 allowing illegal immigrants and refugees in the city, regardless of birth country or current citizenship status, access to relief benefits amid the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic.
The order says it will “ensure that all Chicagoans have fair and equal access to benefits, opportunities, and services provided by the City,” including anything provided as disaster relief to help fight the CCP virus pandemic.
“This order is more than just an official decree, it is a statement of our values as a city and as Americans,” Lightfoot said in a statement.
“Since COVID-19 first reached our city’s doorstep, we have been working around the clock to ensure all our residents are secure and supported, including our immigrant and refugee communities, who are among the most vulnerable to the impact of this pandemic.”
“Here in Chicago, saying ‘we are all in this together’ means that during this crisis, no one gets left out and no one gets left behind,” she said.
Illegal immigrants who have no legal status in the United States do not meet the criteria for state unemployment insurance or other economic assistance, or the stimulus checks the federal government is sending out to all registered tax-payers part of the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill Congress passed in March.
According to the National Review, at least 280,000 illegal immigrants were working in Illinois in 2018 based on a WBEZ analysis of census data. They were mostly concentrated around the sanctuary city of Chicago.
Under the new order, the illegal migrants will be able to receive benefits through Chicago’s Housing Assistance Grant program, which provides disaster relief aid for the housing costs faced by those impacted by the current CCP crisis.
Students will also be offered online Enrichment Learning Resources through Chicago Public Schools, and small businesses will have access to the $100 million Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund, which provides disaster relief cash flow to any entrepreneur, including immigrant business owners.
Michael Rodriguez, who serves as alderman of the 22nd Ward in Chicago, said “these Chicagoans are vital community members who work in various industries and help our great city to thrive every day,” and are “family members, co-workers, neighbors, and friends.”
Chicago and Illinois are currently under a statewide Stay at Home order that was issued on March 20 until at least April 30.
The order mandates all residents to stay home, unless traveling for essential needs or business, and requires businesses not engaged in essential activities to cease all activities except for minimum basic operations.
According to the latest figures published on the official City of Chicago website, 5,511 cases of CCP virus have been confirmed in Chicago as of April 7, and 13,549 in Illinois. The majority of the known cases in Chicago are in individuals aged between 50-59, while the majority of deaths have occurred in individuals aged 70 or over.