As buses of asylum seekers continue to arrive in New York City and Chicago, the two cities continue to drain money as they use emergency contracts to build the infrastructure needed to handle the surge.
Both cities have already spent millions from their own budgets to accommodate the flow of asylum seekers, while conservative governors from southern states continue to ferry them north as a way to protest what they see as Democrats’ open-arm immigration policies.
Chicago has paid at least $56 million to Favorite Healthcare Staffing to care for the more than 13,000 migrants who arrived this year, according to an NBC 5 investigation that found nurses earned $135 or more an hour. A manager was paid $14,000 for just one week of work, and a nurse earned as much as $20,000 for a week in December. Both invoices included overtime.
‘It’s disgusting to see such bills. They are outrageous and warrant an immediate investigation,” Councilman Raymond Lopez told NBC.
Meanwhile, New York currently pays three times more for contracted laundry services at some migrant shelters than at homeless shelters, according to a report by Gothamist.
Chicago has paid at least $56 million in just one emergency contract to care for the more than 13,000 migrants who have arrived this year, while conservative governors from southern states continue to bus them north.
New York currently pays three times more for contracted laundry services at some migrant shelters than at homeless shelters
As the city struggles with about 60,000 asylum seekers in its care, Mayor Eric Adams has made several emergency contracts to provide migrants with clean bedding and towels.
While the city usually pays 99 cents per pound of laundry at homeless shelters, it currently pays DocGo $1.50 per pound, HappyNest $1.60 per pound and Garner $3 per pound.
DocGo and Garner Environmental fees include other services such as security, food, and medical care, but HappyNest is for laundry services only.
New York’s emergency contracts now under review by the City Council, including a $432 million contract with medical provider DocGo, which has been accused of mistreating migrants. Council members have expressed concern that taxpayers are not getting the best deal as the city desperately signs emergency contracts.
Still, Democrats in Chicago have said they are looking to New York for lessons on how to deal with the wave of asylum seekers.
This month, Mayor Brandon Johnson quietly signed a $29 million contract with a security company to build base camps for migrants.
The city’s deal with controversial firm Garda World, signed last week, includes at least six sites across the city, with zones for between 200 and 1,400 asylum seekers. It also includes bedding, laundry, showers, three meals a day and security.
Garda World has not only been commissioned to build the tents, but is also responsible for transporting migrants into the city, which is raising eyebrows among some lawmakers as a potential conflict of interest.
The company recently failed to win a contract in Denver, prompting the deal to be called off due to “concerns (which were growing) about the international company’s history of alleged abuse and mistreatment, as well as its lack of experience in sheltering of migrants.’
Chicago has seen 13,000 migrants arrive in the city since August 2022, with the increase expected to cost taxpayers $302 million by the end of the year.
The number of migrants needing shelter in Chicago has continued to increase in recent months, and city leaders have said they will follow New York’s lead by converting several locations around the city into migrant shelters.
“We have identified several locations in the city that may be appropriate to process the family and individuals who are here by law and seeking constitutional and legal asylum, so that they have a place that recognizes their dignity,” Johnson said.
The migrant response is the latest debacle for Mayor Johnson, who took over from his disastrous predecessor Lori Lightfoot in May this year. He appears to be no more popular than they are, with anger over the tax on his estates, the crushing taxes on corporations and proposals such as city-run supermarkets.
A migrant father from Venezuela changes his 15-month-old son’s diaper in the lobby of a police station
New York City’s migrant crisis is expected to cost the city $4.7 billion this year. Above is a list of some of the landmarks that have been converted into emergency shelters as officials struggle to house nearly 60,000 migrants in the city’s care
Earlier this month, Johnson announced he planned to move about 1,600 migrants currently living in police stations or at O’Hare or Midway airports.
Democratic lawmakers from Chicago traveled to New York City to “bring back” lessons on how to deal with a wave of migrants in the Windy City.
Furious New Yorkers interrupted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who was leading their visit, outside Manhattan’s iconic Roosevelt Hotel, which has become the center of the Big Apple’s migrant scandal.
As Chicago’s migrant crisis continues to worsen, Mayor Johnson has also faced backlash over a proposed “mansion tax” on sales of homes over $1 million, while his administration continues to impose higher taxes on households making more than $100,000.
Hundreds took shelter behind this black curtain at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, where asylum seekers reported inhumane living conditions, with families forced to sleep on the floor for up to 10 days.
The newly elected mayor wants to implement a tax increase to combat homelessness in the city.
Johnson believes that people who own properties worth $1 million in the US’s third-largest city “are rich, and should pay up when they sell those houses.”
He also wants to establish city-run grocery stores to promote “equitable” access to food, after half of the city’s Walmart and Whole Foods stores closed.
Johnson’s new steps will help “repair the damage of the past that has contributed to deliberate disinvestment and exclusion and the lack of access to food” in historically disadvantaged communities.
Meanwhile, car thefts in the Windy City have increased 86 percent over the past year – from 42,512 reported incidents in 2022 to 54,983 so far this year.
Overall, this figure has increased by 227 percent since 2019, when 35,711 car thefts were reported.
Murder rates have also risen 19 percent over the past four years under the disastrous administration of Chicago’s last mayor, Lori Lightfoot, while robberies have risen 30 percent.