Migrant Crisis hits Chicagoland Area

Chicago struggles to handle migrant crisis as winter hits.
Chicago struggles to handle migrant crisis as winter hits.
NBC news

Since Aug. 2022, Texas has transported over 20,000 people to Chicago in an effort to draw political awareness to the migrant crisis at the border.
Chicago is one of many major U.S. cities in which migrants have been relocated. Some suburbs have followed suit, including Evanston, Oak Park and Skokie, according to the Illinois State Bar Association.
According to the official website for the City of Chicago, most of the migrants and asylum seekers are from Venezuela, and many individuals and families are also from countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. In search of a home safe from serious human rights violations, many are seeking shelter in large U.S. cities.
While some suburbs such as Oak Park offer to provide “short term housing for 160 migrants,” according to CBS News, Homewood and Flossmoor do not currently have any plans to assist in housing asylum seekers within their communities.
“Many Chicago suburbs, including Flossmoor, do not have the infrastructure, such as hotels or other temporary housing and social services, to help house migrants,” stated Flossmoor Mayor Michelle Nelson. “This humanitarian and health issue is a federal issue and a small village such as Flossmoor is not prepared to safely house migrants.”
According to the Illinois State Bar Association, “Each city needs to find its own way in the issue of whether or not a Sanctuary City ordinance, or some other approach, or maybe no approach at all, best serves their community.”
The overflowing population of new arrivals has caused major strains on Chicago’s resources, forcing many migrant families and individuals to live outdoors in tents, many choosing to reside near police stations for fear of crime.
As of Oct. 5, CBS News reported that 10,000 migrants were living in city shelters and about 3,000 were in police stations and airports.
According to the Chicago Sun Times, Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson defends his plan to house migrants in tent camps throughout the city, despite protests from community members with concerns about how this may affect the safety and strain on resources in their respective areas.
Construction on what Johnson describes as “winterized shelters” began then abruptly stopeed on Nov. 4. Aiming to house 2,000 people, Johnson’s plan was overruled by the state citing environmental concerns.
Illinois Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth are unabashedly pro-refugee. Durbin described in a Sept. 27 press release how, as the world is facing a refugee crisis, his administration will “remain committed to working with the Biden Administration to restore the United States as a global leader in providing safety to families and children in danger.”
Durbin specifically described how “Venezuelans suffer every day under rampant corruption, human rights violations, hunger, and criminal mismanagement thanks to the Maduro regime.”
Duckworth described how it is her duty to communicate with the Chicago Mayor and Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker to ensure that they have the resources they need from the federal government in a press release from Sept. 1, 2022.
Duckworth stated that migrants arriving in Chicago should be met with compassion and dignity, and criticized Texas governor Greg Abbott–who is staunchly opposed to open borders–bussing migrants out of Texas and into predominantly Democratic major U.S. cities. She described Abbott’s actions as a “disgusting, political and racist stunt,” and said that this could not prevent Chicago from welcoming migrants and refugees.
Upon reaching out, Illinois representative Robin Kelly had no response to the crisis. However, the migrant crisis is impacting Cook County specifically.

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