SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, D-Glenview, and members of the House Democratic New Arrivals Working Group are seeking to curb inhumane, politically motivated busing of migrants from border states with new criminal and civil penalties for dropping off passengers at unsafe locations and at unscheduled times.

“This measure is the result of months of work by the New Arrivals Working Group in conjunction with stakeholders from across the political spectrum. This bill begins to address the most egregious abuses we’ve seen from politicians who want to ship people across the country like cargo,” Gong-Gershowitz said. “Unplanned, unannounced and uncoordinated long-distance busing of migrants is a practice that totally neglects their wellbeing, while imposing burdens on the communities receiving them. This issue affects us all.”

Gong-Gershowitz passed House Bill 588 through a House committee Wednesday. Under this bill, commercial bus operators would no longer be able to leave migrants in unsafe areas, or at unscheduled times. Buses would face stricter regulation of where riders could be left, ensuring local officials have control over where and when drop-offs could happen. The bill also lays out stronger safety regulations on these drop-off locations. Bus operators violating these regulations would be subject to misdemeanor charges and fines for a first offense, with escalating fines for subsequent offenses.

Many communities in Cook County and neighboring suburbs have already enacted similar ordinances, causing bus operators and the politicians directing them to seek unregulated areas for these drop-offs. Gong-Gershowitz’s bill expands these regulations statewide in order to more comprehensively crack down on these political games. 

Gong-Gershowitz, leads the House Democratic New Arrivals Working Group, along with Reps. Dagmara Avelar, Kam Buckner, Terra Costa Howard, Eva-Dina Delgado, Robyn Gabel, Jehan Gordon-Booth, Hoan Huynh, and Dave Vella.   

Rep Jennifer Gong-GershowitzRep Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz

17th District

Springfield Office:
248-W Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-4194

District Office:
1812 Waukegan Road, Suite B
Glenview, IL 60025
(847) 486-8810