Chicago building new migrant shelters every six days, no end in sight


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FILE – Immigrants from Venezuela are reflected in a marble wall while taking shelter at the Chicago Police Department’s 16th District station on Monday, May 1, 2023. Nearly 1,600 migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. will be relocated from Chicago police stations to winterized camps with massive tents under a plan by Mayor Brandon Johnson, according to a report released Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, FIle)

CHICAGO, Ill. (WTVO) — Busloads of migrants continue to arrive in Chicago each day and city leaders are scrambling to find more resources to manage the crisis.

More than 3,500 migrants are still sleeping at police stations and at the O’Hare airport, waiting to be placed into housing.


The city says it is opening a new migrant shelter every six days to accommodate the new arrivals, who are being bused up from border states.

State leaders in Springfield claim they are doing what they can to assist Chicago, but those in the middle of the crisis say it’s not enough help to keep up with demand.

Yesterday, members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation wrote a letter to President Joe Biden requesting federal assistance.

“As members of the Illinois congressional delegation, we urge you to take immediate action to address serious humanitarian needs in Illinois.  The State of Illinois and the City of Chicago have dedicated unprecedented resources to the more than 18,000 asylum seekers who have traveled to Chicago from the U.S.-Mexico border since the start of Governor Abbott’s partisan stunt, ‘Operation Lone Star,’ in August 2022.   State and local officials have worked tirelessly to serve these new arrivals, and the federal government must swiftly provide assistance and resources that reflect this Administration’s commitment to safe, orderly, and humane immigration processes,” the letter said.

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker has also penned a letter to Biden.

On Tuesday, he told reporters he encouraged working with the federal government to deport non-citizen migrants who are not seeking asylum.

Pritzker also said he has concerns about a $29 million tent camp planned to house migrants currently staying at the city’s police stations.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has claimed that Biden administration policies are encouraging foreign nationals to circumvent legal entry into the United States.

Under U.S. immigration law, foreign nationals seeking asylum in America are required to wait in their home country for 150 days after submitting their application for a work permit.

In 2021, former Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot protested former President Donald Trump’s border wall policy declaring the city a “sanctuary city” for migrants, vowing not to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

In response, Republican Abbott and governors of other southern border states began sending busloads of migrants northward to Democrat-controlled cities, saying other states should share the burden of caring for tens of thousands of migrants that cross the border each day.

Chicago and Illinois taxpayers have set aside $94 million for migrant housing, and the state has budgeted $550 million for migrant health care, but authorities say there is no end in sight to the arrivals and critics say the cost will fall on taxpayers.

A recent survey showed that a majority of Chicago residents oppose the city’s designation as a “sanctuary city” for non-citizen migrants



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