Border Crisis, Measles Outbreak at Center Stage in Elections: Contrasting Views in Illinois 4th District Race

Immigration emerges as a pivotal issue in the Illinois 4th District race, highlighting the contrasting views of Democratic contenders in this predominantly Latino region.

Alderman Raymond Lopez, leading efforts for stricter immigration policies, aims to unseat Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García, whose platform centers on ending family separations at the border.

Lopez advocates for border security and pathways to legal status for long-term, law-abiding immigrants, while García focuses on legislation to halt immigrant criminalization and support pathways to citizenship for DACA recipients.

Both candidates exert pressure on Washington, with Lopez blaming Congress for Chicago’s migrant crisis and García urging President Biden to expedite work permits.

García accuses Lopez of fear-mongering, while Lopez labels García as an “open-border Democrat” neglecting local constituents.

In the diverse 4th District, spanning O’Hare to Burbank and Oak Brook, both candidates, Mexican American and hailing from Chicago’s Southwest Side, vie for voter support.

García, in office since 2019, brings political experience from the Chicago alder and state senator roles, while Lopez has represented the 15th Ward since 2015.

Lopez faces fundraising challenges, attributing lower contributions to his late entry into the race.

With the Democratic primary scheduled for March 19, the electorate’s stance on immigration policies will soon be determined.

The primary happens as measles is coming out of the population of illegals, according to media reports.

CDC Sends Team to Chicago Amid Measles Concerns

Amid a resurgence of measles cases nationwide, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) has confirmed three additional cases at the city’s migrant shelter for illegals in Pilsen, prompting action from health authorities.

With measles now reported in 17 states, and Chicago grappling with eight confirmed cases in the past week alone, health experts anticipate further outbreaks. Consequently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has dispatched a team from Atlanta to provide guidance, identify exposures, and administer vaccines.

“The support requested from the state is to bolster their ongoing efforts,” stated Dr. Manisha Patel, Chief Medical Officer of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD).

In tandem, Illinois state agencies, directed by Governor J.B. Pritzker, are mobilizing resources to address the outbreak.

Of the eight confirmed cases, seven originate from the Pilsen shelter, with one case unrelated. Notably, two migrant children, including a Chicago Public Schools (CPS) student, are among those affected.

Measles, a highly contagious respiratory infection, poses serious health risks and can remain airborne for up to two hours. Symptoms typically include rash, fever, cough, and runny nose, with onset occurring within 7 to 21 days after exposure.

Despite vaccination efforts, concerns persist due to the virus’s incubation period and potential exposure among illegals. To mitigate risks, residents receiving the measles vaccine have been asked to remain at the shelter, with additional measures such as hotel quarantines implemented.

While city officials monitor the situation, questions arise regarding migrants’ mobility and potential exposure points, including public transportation. Efforts are underway to coordinate resources and vaccinations, particularly for unvaccinated individuals.

At the city’s landing zone on the Near West Side, health authorities maintain a presence to provide vaccinations as migrants arrive, recognizing the importance of proactive measures in curbing the outbreak.

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