Could Chicago Become the Newest State in the United States?

Chicago could become the newest state in the United States if one lawmaker has his way.

Brad Halbrook — who is a Republican member of the Illinois House of Representatives — filed resolution HR0101 back on Thursday, February 7, 2019; and is urging the House of Representatives of the United States to allow the city of Chicago to secede from the state of Illinois and become its own state.

Could Chicago Become the Newest State in the United States?

The bill — which was co-sponsored by Chris Miller and Darren Bailey, who are fellow representatives of Halbrook — claims that “even communities north of Chicago are considered ‘downstate’ because they have more in common with rural southern and central Illinois counties than they do with the City of Chicago”; that “the majority of residents in downstate Illinois disagree with City of Chicago residents on key issues such as gun ownership, abortion, immigration, and other policy issues”; and that “the dissension between downstate Illinois and the City of Chicago spans the nearly 200-year history of the State,” with several attempts in the past to divide Illinois into two states.

This proposal is indeed nothing new: back in 1925, the city of Chicago passed a resolution to form the State of Chicago; and the residents of western Illinois declared their region as the “Republic of Forgottonia”.

Howard Carroll — who was a state senator back in 1981 — passed a bill through both chambers of the state legislature of Illinois which would have split Cook County from the rest of the state.

Organizations continue to push for separation between the City of Chicago and Illinois — such as the Southern Illinois Secession Movement and The Illinois Separation as two examples.

As a house resolution, the bill has yet to be assigned to a committee and does not need approval from the senate or governor of Illinois.


The separation of states continues to be a focus in the news media. For example, a proposal to divide the state of California into three separate states — California, Northern California, and Southern California — was introduced last year.

That initiative is not to be confused with a campaign for the state to secede from the United States to become a sovereign nation. An organization called YesCalifornia was granted permission by the attorney general of California to advocate for the official secession of California by collecting signatures to qualify what is known as the California Self-Determination Referendum Act for the ballot in November of 2020…

…nor is that initiative to be confused with a northern portion of the state wanting to secede from the state of California and become the state of Jefferson; and in yet another initiative, a large area comprised of 17 counties in California which calls itself New California and declared independence from the rest of the state as of Monday, January 15, 2018.

Unrelated is the possibility of the District of Columbia of becoming a state one day as well; but that is unlikely to happen anytime soon — if at all.

As for the state of Chicago, the processes of secession or statehood is difficult enough that it is not probable for all intents and purposes.

Whether or not any of the aforementioned initiatives will be successful, one thing is for certain: residents and citizens of Chicago are unhappy; and the majority of them seems to want change from the status quo as soon as possible.

An interesting question to answer is what would be the fate of both airports which serve the greater Chicago metropolitan area: would they be part of the proposed state of Chicago; or would either of them remain in Illinois?

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

11 thoughts on “Could Chicago Become the Newest State in the United States?”

  1. Chip Chopworth says:

    Here we go again. Again. A bunch of morons who will quickly realize the federal aid that will fly out the window once they secede.

    Though most clear-thinking people would love to see California detached from the US and sent foundering toward the Antarctic because of its outrageous politics there is no chance of the republic changing from 50 states in our lifetime.

    1. BJ says:

      Morons R Us is open for business.

  2. Christian says:

    If only we lived in a representative democracy, then people could vote their choice. Oh wait, we do. Personally, I think this secessionist stuff is a load of you-know-what, and doubly so when based on social issues.

  3. tda says:

    Not quite sure why the airports pose an interesting question. Both are within the city limits of Chicago, so why would they be separated?

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      The state of Georgia is currently trying to take control of the international airport which serves the greater Atlanta metropolitan area, tda; and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey — not the city of New York nor the states of New York and New Jersey — operate John F. Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia Airport and Newark Airport.

      Those are only two examples of airports not being owned or operated by a city, so thinking that the airports of Chicago would remain operated by Chicago if it became a state is not an automatically foregone conclusion.

  4. Barry Graham says:

    I wish people would read the post before commenting.

  5. Jim says:

    Please, do not tease us who live in central IL, take away Chicago and IL becomes a very red state, but no, Chicago puts IL as a bright blue state.

  6. Barry Graham says:

    @Jim I think that’s why he wants to do this.

  7. TJ Anderson says:

    Instead of separation, these politicians should be touting for term limits for all elected officials, which would eliminate most of the major problem which allows corruption like the Madigan regime in Illinois to persist.

  8. Kikio Day says:

    Residents of Chicago are unhappy? According to whom?

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Residents of Chicago are unhappy according to the information provided by at least three links which are included in the article, Kikio Day

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