ST. CHARLES — St. Charles County officials are pushing back against a plan to bring hundreds of Latin immigrants to St. Louis, arguing that the city isn’t ready for such an influx and that it could end up hurting the entire area.
Some council members express concerns that the plan would adversely affect St. Charles, as their residents are not happy about it.
The non-profit group, the International Institute of St. Louis, unveiled the plan in September to bring in immigrants from Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Haiti to the city. These immigrants are currently in Chicago through the Biden administration’s program, allowing 30,000 migrants into the U.S. every month.
Twenty-one Republican-led states, including Missouri, are challenging the program in federal court.
Councilman Joe Brazil of St. Charles County Council emphasizes that St. Louis should focus on fixing its own problems before implementing such a plan. He voices concerns about the potential overflow of issues reaching St. Charles County, calling it “just not a good idea.”
While approved to be in the U.S., the immigrants are not U.S. citizens. Arrey Obenson, President of the International Institute of St. Louis, believes these individuals could help boost the economy. He mentions receiving hundreds of calls from employers seeking talent to fill positions in their businesses.
Obenson adds that the immigrants they serve are eager to work, stating, “All of the people we serve here at the International Institute, these people come here yearning with a fire in their belly, ready to work.”
However, Councilman Joe Brazil raises concerns about the plan’s safety for the community and questions how it benefits the people in their community.