Chicago residents have expressed their anger at the city government for hosting a huge influx of asylum seekers, while a youth football team will be kicked off their home field to make way for a migrant camp.
More than 17,000 migrants have arrived in the Windy City since August 2022, including more than 10,000 in shelters and nearly 3,200 in police stations and O’Hare International Airport. The city government says it has allocated $328 million in aid so far.
An angry local called Mayor Brandon Johnson and the Democrats “criminals” for their handling of the situation as residents gathered to discuss a lawsuit filed against the city over its housing of migrants in public buildings.
“We’re going to sue the bosses and sue Democrats as citizens because they’re supposed to represent the people they voted for,” the man said. “Don’t let the Democrats have their stupid convention here. Enough is enough. All I see are the citizens of Chicago marching to their death chambers.”
Meanwhile, hundreds of people have protested the city’s plan to turn the Amundsen Park Fieldhouse into an emergency shelter for about 200 asylum seekers. About 400 local residents gathered for a rally on Tuesday to oppose the plan, and a protest against the proposed tent shelter is planned for Friday.
An angry local called Mayor Brandon Johnson and the Democrats “criminals” for their handling of the situation as residents gathered to discuss a lawsuit against the city
Hundreds have protested the city’s plan to turn the Amundsen Park Fieldhouse into an emergency shelter for about 200 asylum seekers.
Nearly thirty busloads of immigrants arrived in downtown Chicago last week — and that number is only going to get worse. Most of the asylum seekers are Venezuelans who say they are fleeing the economic and social collapse of the socialist nation led by Nicolas Maduro’s regime.
Just two years after declaring his state the “most hospitable state in the nation” and expanding immigrant protections, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has begged President Joe Biden to divert migrants from his state.
Cristina Pacione-Zayas, deputy chief of staff to Mayor Brandon Johnson, told The New York Times that officials are “struggling” to house the migrants.
Many of the migrants were transported north from Republican border states in an effort to prove that Democrats’ open arms policy is a disaster.
In an effort to ease the crisis that has overwhelmed Chicago and New York, the Biden administration said it would resume deportations of Venezuelans, marking another stark reversal in migration policy that follows the president’s decision to to resume construction of the border wall.
More than 17,000 migrants have arrived in the Windy City since August 2022, with more than 10,000 in shelters and nearly 3,200 in police stations.
Migrants have been transported to the city over the past fourteen months. Mayor Brandon Johnson said Wednesday that as many as 22 busloads could arrive daily in the future
The city government says it has allocated $328 million in aid so far. O’Hare International Airport pictured
The number of migrants needing shelter in Chicago has continued to increase in recent months, and city leaders have said they will follow New York’s lead by converting several locations around the city into migrant shelters.
Last month, the mayor quietly signed a $29 million contract with a security company to build base camps for migrants. The city’s deal with controversial firm Garda World, signed last week, includes at least six sites across the city, with zones for between 200 and 1,400 asylum seekers. It also includes bedding, laundry, showers, three meals a day and security.
Johnson said as many as 22 busloads of migrants could arrive daily, with several sleeping on the city’s streets.
Citing that the “growing crisis” has been a “huge sacrifice” for the people of Chicago, Johnson told the crowd of reporters: “We have to start assessing the situation.”
“Frankly, we need better coordination.”
Johnson announced that a team from the Department of Homeland Security had arrived earlier that day to assess the situation, adding that he had “always” been concerned about the arrivals since he became mayor last May.
The progressive also appeared to take shots at the Biden administration — when asked about concerns about the growing number of migrants being housed in police stations, airports and even schools.
Migrants seek shelter at the Chicago Police Department’s 8th District station, another repurposed site used as a shelter for many of the city’s more than 15,000 migrants
Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson vowed to visit the southern border on Wednesday to assess the ongoing migrant situation
He said, “This is a growing crisis, not just for the city of Chicago, but for the entire world.
“The population shift we are experiencing as a result of the failure of federal policy is now impacting the people of Chicago in a very dramatic way,” he said.
He further cited how “serious this dynamic is” at the border – where thousands of migrants cross illegally before voluntarily turning themselves in to Border Patrol.
From there, they are bused from Texas cities such as Eagle Pass and El Paso — both of which mayors have said they are “at capacity” — to so-called sanctuary cities in protest of immigration policies.
At the time, Johnson’s predecessor, Lori Lightfoot, touted Chicago as a place where migrants could find solace — but more than a year later, and after a disastrous first term, it was up to Johnson to address the deteriorating situation.
Speaking to the public on Wednesday, he said permanent shelters were being built “every week” but that this had not been enough to accommodate and house the almost daily arrivals.
Meanwhile, US Border Patrol made 181,509 apprehensions at the border in August, a 37 percent increase from the previous month – but little change from August 2022 and well below the high of more than 220,000 in December, figures show .
The decline in numbers was reversed after new asylum restrictions were introduced in May. This comes after years of steadily rising migration levels, caused by the economic crisis and political and social unrest in many of the countries where people are fleeing.
Previously, only dozens of migrants from Central American countries passed through Irapuato by train every day, said Marta Ponce, a 73-year-old woman who has been helping those traveling on the railway lines through her town for more than a decade.
Now that number often rises into the thousands.
Asylum seekers cross the Rio Grande from Mexico into the United States on September 30, 2023 in Eagle Pass, Texas
The migrant backlash is the latest debacle for Mayor Johnson, who took over from his disastrous predecessor
Lori Lightfoot in May of this year. He appears to be no more popular than they are, with anger over the tax on his estates, the crushing taxes on corporations and proposals such as city-run supermarkets.
As Chicago’s migrant crisis continues to worsen, Mayor Johnson has also faced backlash over a proposed “mansion tax” on sales of homes over $1 million, while his administration continues to impose higher taxes on households making more than $100,000.
The newly elected mayor wants to implement a tax increase to combat homelessness in the city.
Johnson believes that people who own properties worth $1 million in the US’s third-largest city “are rich, and should pay up when they sell those houses.”
He also wants to establish city-run grocery stores to promote “equitable” access to food, after half of the city’s Walmart and Whole Foods stores closed.
Johnson’s new steps will help “repair the damage of the past that has contributed to deliberate disinvestment and exclusion and the lack of access to food” in historically disadvantaged communities.
Meanwhile, car thefts in the Windy City have increased 86 percent over the past year – from 42,512 reported incidents in 2022 to 54,983 so far this year.
Overall, this figure has increased by 227 percent since 2019, when 35,711 car thefts were reported.
Murder rates have also risen 19 percent over the past four years under the disastrous administration of Chicago’s last mayor, Lori Lightfoot, while robberies have risen 30 percent.