Some Texas migrants housed in suburban hotels; Burr Ridge mayor says he wasn't warned

Craig Wall Image
Thursday, September 8, 2022
Some migrants given shelter in Chicago suburbs
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Some of the migrants bused from Texas to Chicago have been sent to hotels in the suburbs for shelter.

BURR RIDGE, Ill. (WLS) -- Some of the migrants who were bused to Chicago from Texas have now been sent to stay at hotels in the suburbs.

More than 100 migrants total were sent to the suburbs, divided between the Burr Ridge Hampton Inn and the Holiday In in nearby Countryside, state officials said. Thursday afternoon about 20 migrant families, some with very young children, relaxed outside the Burr Ridge hotel. They said they were from Venezuela, and that they are doing well and being treated fine, but declined to speak on camera.

The Greater Chicago Food Depository arrived at the hotel to deliver a pallet of food supplies to help the families adjust.

"I'll just say if they're coming to Illinois, and we're a welcoming state, we're gonna make sure that they have a place to live, that they are able to get fed, get health care," said Gov. JB Pritzker.

Burr Ridge Mayor Gary Grasso said he was caught completely off-guard.

"I'm the mayor of the village, I should have been told. I'm as frustrated as Mayor Lightfoot was in her not being told. I'm frustrated but we're dealing with the situation and I'm going to keep my residents and my businesses apprised," he said.

In total, nearly 300 migrants have been bused from Texas to Chicago in the last two weeks. The city and state are working with various social service agencies to help them get settled, and find housing and jobs.

Pritzker, appearing at an unrelated event Thursday, called on Texas Governor Greg Abbott to stop.

"Our staffs have been in contact with one another, but they have been wholly uncooperative in Texas," he said.

Grasso, a Republican, does not believe sending the migrants to Burr Ridge is a political move, but he would not say if Abbott was wrong to send migrants to Chicago.

"I think the Governor of Texas is in a better position to decide what he's what he should do for his situation," Grasso said.

Pritzker said he's concerned that his Texas counterpart could continue to send busses of migrants to Chicago from now until the election. The governor said if that happens the state will continue to take care of them.