Chicago has over 24,000 migrants sheltering in the city. New York City has more than 66,000, which is leading to discussions on what to do at the southern U.S. southern border and who is responsible for the influx to cities more than 1,000 miles away.
In an unhinged rant Tuesday evocative of disgraced actor Jussie Smollett’s invocation of the “MAGA” boogeyman, Johnson criticized Republicans in regards to the border and suggested that the “right wing” was dishing out payback.
“It is abysmal, and it’s an affront for everything that is good about this country, for the extremism in this country to use people as political tools to settle political scores for something that happened 400 years ago,” Johnson said.
Johnson continued by questioning the sanctity of the party.
“That’s what this particular party has been about,” Johnson claimed.
“This is the same Republican right-wing extremism that stormed the Capitol. It’s the same right-wing extremism that refuses to accept the results of the Civil War. It’s raggedy, it’s disrespectful,” he continued. “It’s disrespectful, its mean spirited, it’s an unclean spirit.”
Illinois Republicans responded to Johnson’s words, with some suggesting a history lesson for the mayor.
“His statements are not even grounded in reality. I would recommend a history lesson for the mayor of Chicago, good grief,” state Rep. Adam Niemerg, R-Dieterich, told the Center Square. “To say Republicans don’t accept the results of the Civil War, I believe Abraham Lincoln was a Republican.”
State Rep. Martin McLaughlin, R-Barrington Hills, fired back at Johnson.
“The Republican Party was founded to end government Bureaucracy and to end slavery. Brandon Johnson and [Illinois Gov.] J.B. Pritzker are both obviously not students of history and are hoping many of their followers never get off TikTok to discover accurate historical information,” McLaughlin said in a statement. “Independents, moderate Democrats, and Republicans are equally appalled at their recent statements.”
Last month, Pritzker said supporting non-citizen arrivals has nothing to do with sanctuary status and the state would remain open.
“Sanctuary status has to do with undocumented immigrants who are here,” Pritzker said. “Not people who are asylum seekers who are in a whole different category.”
According to U.S. Rep. Nick Langworthy, R-N.Y., Democratic leadership and the inaction of President Joe Biden in regard to the border is what led to this influx of people and the use of taxpayer dollars to cover the costs.
“This is just one small glimpse at a completely avoidable humanitarian disaster brought not by big bad Republicans in the House but by an administration that refuses to enforce our immigration laws and has flung the door wide open at our southern border,” Langworthy said.
Johnson said the Republican backlash comes from targeted hate.
“This is nothing new,” Johnson said. “Everyone knows that the right-wing extremism in this country has targeted Democratically run cities, and quite frankly, they have been quite intentional about going after Democratically ran cities that are led by people of color.”
Illinois state Rep. Brad Halbrook, R-Shelbyville, said Johnson should not be taken seriously.
“Mayor Johnson is a clown. He is not a serious person, and he does not deserve a response to his inane babbling,” Halbrook said in a statement.
“He was elected thanks to the massive financial backing of the very public sector union leadership that has made Chicago’s finances a complete disaster,” Halbrook continued. “If Mayor Johnson is the answer, it must have been an extremely stupid question.”
Last week, Chicago saw 25 more buses of migrants arrive. New York is seeing more than 2,500 arrivals a week.