Chicago migrant crisis: City council members urge mayor to extend Feb. 1 shelter eviction deadline

Sarah Schulte Image
Friday, January 26, 2024
Alderpersons urge mayor to extend migrant shelter eviction deadline
Chicago City Council members are urging Mayor Brandon Johnson to extend the Feb. 1 migrant shelter eviction deadline.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A deadline is quickly approaching for migrants staying in shelters run by the City of Chicago.

Hundreds of migrants are set to be kicked out of the facilities on Feb. 1.

There is an effort to convince Mayor Brandon Johnson's administration to push back the deadline.

In less then a week, about 1,900 migrants will be forced to move out of Chicago shelters.

The Johnson administration previously extended its 60-day eviction policy twice over winter weather concerns.

Mutual aid volunteer Annie Gomberg is trying to help migrants who have received this notice from the city...

"They are in a complete panic," Mutual Aid volunteer Annie Gomberg said. 'Every person who gets one of these notices doesn't understand what this means for them and their family because the plan is so convoluted and doesn't make any sense."

Mutual Aid groups and 17 city council members, led by Ald. Andre Vasquez, sent a letter to Mayor Johnson, urging him to either throw out the 60-day eviction policy or delay it.

"Rather than having something that is so tumultuous, that you are moving it back every couple weeks, we think it's fair for the mayor to say, 'we are going to pause and re-evaluate in April or May when warmer,'" Vasquez said.

The Johnson administration said it will continue to evaluate the policy.

When asked about the aldermen letter at a homeless event Thursday night, Mayor Johnson responded by defending how much he has already done.

"I mean, look how many more shelters am I going to be asked to open?" Johnson said. "I mean, 27 shelters. We are, we have literally built an entire infrastructure for an international crisis that Congress hasn't figured out."

READ MORE | Mayor Brandon Johnson defends handling of Chicago migrant crisis

Ald. Vasquez strongly believes the city should not be in the business of evicting people and said there needs to be a better coordinated effort in helping migrants get jobs.

"Ultimately, to solve the problem, you need folks to get work authorization that's a needs to be ramped up and expanded so people can find their own places to live," Vasquez said.

On Tuesday, Ald. Vasquez will chair a committee hearing on migrants. The Johnson administration will testify. Vasquez hopes the mayor will extend the Feb. 1 eviction deadline before the hearing.