Chicago Mayor Pays $17.6 Million in Tax Dollars to Black/Brown Businesses to Feed Illegals

AP Photo/Paul Beaty

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson continues to sink deeper into the quagmire of the illegal immigrant issue. Chicago is a self-proclaimed sanctuary city, a title it proudly wore as a badge of honor — that is, until it actually had to act like one. As Texas was overwhelmed by the Biden administration’s porous border policies, Gov. Greg Abbott decided to allow some cities under Democratic mayors to experience the problem for themselves. 


Johnson has not handled the issue well. In fact, he seems to be dropping the ball on every level. Andre Smith, a Chicago Democrat who’s running for the Illinois House, called out Johnson and the Windy City for using funds to shelter migrants while Chicagoans struggle.

"Fox & Friends" co-host Lawrence Jones visited the sanctuary city to witness the crisis firsthand, and he walked the streets with Smith. Smith told him that the city's schools, park districts, and apartments have been used for placing migrants and displacing Chicago residents. 

"The money is coming from the hard-owned taxpayers, taxpayer’s dollars that don't have the luxury now to go to the park in their community because migrants are there,

As they walked, Smith pointed out two buildings that have been shuttered and are now sheltering migrants. One was once a health center that served patients struggling financially, and the other was an academy for young women. Smith explained that both had been closed due to a lack of funding. He then stated:

"You tell us that there's no funding or the lack of funding, but then you bring migrants in and make them shelters. That's not the American way.”

"They have the funding and every now and then they say, “Hey, we found more millions, we found more money.’"

Smith is so angered by Johnson’s actions that in a previous interview, he told Fox News that if elected, he will pursue a recall of Johnson, who defeated another left-wing radical, Lori Lightfoot, last year. He added that Chicago's sanctuary status should be put up for a popular referendum by the city's voters.


Related: Eviction Clock Is Ticking for Migrants in Chicago

Not content just to anger his fellow Democrats, Johnson has decided to bring race into the discussion by snubbing small businesses that are owned by white citizens. He has divvied up approximately $17.6 million among 18 black and brown-owned businesses to feed the illegals in the city. Calling the race-based handout of tax dollars “the soul of Chicago,” Johnson had this to say as he spoke to the press from BJ’s Market and Bakery, one of the beneficiaries of his plan:

“The $17 million investment for these 18 black and brown small businesses is really the, … it really captures what I call the soul of Chicago. It’s who we are.”

“I actually think it’s quite fitting that we are in this wonderful small business because it has been black and brown small businesses that have stepped up in this moment, in this crisis, to respond to these families who are arriving here.”

Of course, Johnson failed to mention that white-owned businesses were not able to “step up,” since they were not eligible for the program.


According to a press release from the city, over 8 months, private donations plus $14.5 million from the state of Illinois — amounting to $17.6 million — has been used to serve 18,000 meals per day at 21 shelters “to feed more than 10,000 asylum-seeking new arrivals.”

BJ’s owner, John Meyer, was elated with his involvement in the project. He said he’s been able to turn his market around since receiving the funding, stating, “For the first time in my 31 years in business, I’ve been able to run my restaurant as it’s meant to be.”

That’s nice, but in this case, the end doesn’t justify the means. The program has angered many and raised questions about its legality. 

Other restaurants and businesses involved in the effort include Blueprint Group, Catering Out the Box, Rome's Joy Catering, Carnitas Uruapan, Food Hero, Chi-Care (a non-profit food collective), Chi-Fresh, Chinese American Service League, Garifuna Flava, Irazú, Jarabe, La Merced, Los Comales, Nellie's, Atzimba Catering, and Nuevo Leon. 

Several people reached out to Harmeet Dhillon at the Center for American Liberty, seeking her legal advice on the matter. The Republican National Committee member responded: 


It seems unlikely that any court can justify ignoring a segment of a city’s population strictly based on race. Labeling something as “race-based” is nothing more than a clever name for allowing racism to exist in plain sight.


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