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IL House GOP Leader reflects on border trip, says Pritzker shouldn’t criticize other governor

June 29, 2023

Two of the top Illinois House Republicans and several sheriffs from across the state were in McAllen, Texas this week to better understand the crisis at the border with the Americans for Prosperity Foundation.

House GOP Leader Tony McCombie (R-Savanna) and Rep. John Cabello (R-Machesney Park) said people make too many assumptions about what is happening at the border. McCombie told WAND News that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle should put politics aside and make the trip themselves.

The number of people illegally crossing the southern border is at the lowest point since the start of the Biden administration. However, McCombie said she personally saw a major lack of information and resources available for migrants coming into Texas.

“There is a process and there is a way for people to come here. You have families coming to the border literally thinking that that process is no longer in place,” McCombie said. “They’re coming here not realizing that to acquire citizenship through asylum, most of them do not qualify.”

McCombie suggested that Gov. JB Pritzker should ask President Joe Biden to establish a stronger immigration plan as soon as possible or demand more financial assistance for states welcoming undocumented immigrants.

“If I do, it will be the tenth time that I’ve had interactions with the White House or directly with the President about the migrant crisis, about the problem of inhumane governors in Florida and Texas who are literally shipping people around the country and ignoring their rights,” Pritzker said during an unrelated press conference Tuesday.

Yet, the Republicans noted that no one should be placing blame on Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas) and Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Florida). McCombie said if Pritzker was the governor of Texas, he would have no other choice than to send migrants to other states to receive proper care.

“You can’t say, ‘Welcome, come to my state,’ but then turn around and blame a governor saying, ‘Stop sending these folks,'” McCombie stressed. “I thought we were a welcoming Illinois. You don’t get it both ways.”

The Republican and Pritzker agree that the asylum process should be much faster to help more families. Although, they also know that people crossing the border illegally could be barred from seeking asylum for at least five years.

“We all are working very closely together to make sure that we’re addressing this crisis,” Pritzker said. “But it’s a crisis and it will remain one as long as these governors in other states are just throwing people onto buses and honestly not telling them why they’re going where they’re going or where they’re going in some cases.”


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