Most elected Democrats across the country have either been silent about or openly promoted the Biden administration’s border policies. But once the effects of those policies were felt at home, putting thousands of illegal aliens in their own backyards, several Democrats have acknowledged there is a problem.
Democratic leaders in Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Texas, and Washington, D.C., have declared states of emergency in response to the border crisis that occurred after President Joe Biden took office.
Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey
Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey is the latest Democrat to declare a state of emergency in response to an overwhelming number of illegal alien arrivals to her state.
In an Aug. 8 letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, the governor said the commonwealth is spending more than $45 million a month for shelter space, but Massachusetts does not have the “tools we need to meet the rapidly rising demand for emergency shelter.”
There are currently about 20,000 individuals and 5,600 families, many of whom are illegal aliens, living in Massachusetts’ shelters, according to the governor’s office.
The number of illegal aliens arriving in Massachusetts, according the Healey, is “more than our state has ever served in our emergency assistance program.”
“State employees and our partners have been miracle workers throughout this crisis—going above and beyond to support families and using every tool at their disposal to expand shelter capacity by nearly 80 percent in the last year,” Healey said in a news release about the state of emergency. “But in recent months, demand has increased to levels that our emergency shelter system cannot keep up with, especially as the number of families leaving shelter has dwindled due to a lack of affordable housing options and barriers to securing work.”
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot
In May, before leaving office, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot declared a state of emergency in response to the number of illegal aliens arriving in the city.
“Since August 2022, the city has coordinated a multi-departmental, city-wide strategy in partnership with the state and Cook County for receiving and providing emergency care for over 8,000 new arrivals,” the mayor’s office said in a statement on May 9.
While announcing the state of emergency, Lightfoot said the situation “shouldn’t have to come to this point,” adding, “Even in my final days as mayor, it is important that we step up and respond to this burgeoning crisis.”
Lightfoot lost her reelection bid to Brandon Johnson, who became Chicago’s 57th mayor on May 15.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency ahead of the May 11 expiration of Title 42, a public health law meant to prevent the spread of contagious diseases that was used by the Trump administration during the COVID-19 pandemic to immediately expel many illegal aliens caught crossing the border.
“With Title 42 set to expire, the circumstances on the ground are expected to change significantly, and this Executive Order will be an important part of our coordinated response,” Hochul said in a May 9 statement. “I have spoken to Mayor Adams and County Executives throughout New York as we work to address this situation,” she added.
El Paso, Texas, Mayor Oscar Leeser
El Paso, Texas, Mayor Oscar Leeser declared a 30-day state of emergency at the end of April in preparation for “the unknown” ahead of the end of Title 42. El Paso borders Mexico on the far western side of Texas.
The El Paso sector encompasses 125,500 square miles in Texas and New Mexico. So far in fiscal year 2023, Customs and Border Protection has encountered more than 347,629 illegal aliens there, more than six times as many as were encountered in the sector in all of 2020, according to CBP.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock declared a state of emergency in December 2022 in response to an increase of illegal aliens arriving in the city.
“This influx of migrants, the unanticipated nature of their arrival, and our current space and staffing challenges have put an immense strain on city recourses to the level where they’re on the verge of reaching a breaking point at this time,” the mayor said. “What I don’t want to see is a local humanitarian crisis of unsheltered migrants on our hands because of a lack of resources.”
The emergency declaration opened addition funding avenues at the time for Denver to handle in the influx of illegal aliens.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams
New York City Mayor Eric Adams declared a state of emergency in October 2022 after more than 17,000 illegal aliens were bused to the city by border state governors. “New York City is doing all we can, but we are reaching the outer limit of our ability to help,” Adams said at the time.
In July, Adams announced that the city will begin distributing flyers at the U.S. southern border asking illegal aliens to “consider another city” besides the Big Apple.
The bright yellow flyers, which are also written in Spanish, tell illegal aliens that more than 90,000 illegal aliens have arrived in the city since last April, that “housing in NYC is very expensive,” and that “there is no guarantee we will be able to provide shelter and services to new arrivals.”
In July, a group of 54 Democratic elected officials from New York, including state senators and assembly members, sent a letter to Biden asking him to declare a federal state of emergency in response to the influx of migrants. They also asked Biden to expedite work authorization for migrants, “distribute migrants fairly” across the country, and provide the city with more federal funding to “manage the tens of thousands of asylum-seekers we are hosting.”
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker
“Let me be clear: while other states may be treating these vulnerable families as pawns, here in Illinois, we are treating them as people,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in a statement nearly a year ago.
In an effort to care for illegal aliens arriving in the state, Pritzker issued an emergency disaster proclamation on Sept. 14, 2022.
The proclamation allowed the “state to speed up the procurement of the immediate resources needed to help Chicago, Cook County, and other jurisdictions provide humanitarian assistance to the asylum seekers who are being sent to our state with no official advance notice by the Governor of Texas,” Pritzker said.
Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser
In response to Republican governors such as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and then-Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, bussing illegal aliens to Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser declared a public emergency in September.
“In the spring, the governors of Texas and Arizona began busing migrants to Washington, D.C., in a political stunt meant to get the attention of the White House,” the mayor’s office said in a Sept. 8, 2022, press release. “Since then, Texas and Arizona have reported to the media that approximately 9,400 migrants have been bused to Washington, D.C.”
The emergency declaration allowed the mayor to create an Office of Migrant Services and allocate funding for “reception, respite, meals, temporary accommodations, urgent medical needs, transportation to final destinations, connection to resettlement services, translation services, and other needs as they are determined” for illegal aliens.
“With this plan, we are staying true to our D.C. values and building a system that will support a compassionate, consistent, and well-coordinated response,” Bowser said.
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