Chicago migrants out of police stations, into transitional housing at local colleges

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Monday, June 5, 2023
Chicago officials move migrants out of police stations, into shelters
The Johnson administration's goal is to move then 800 asylum seekers out of Chicago police stations and into transitional housing in the next few weeks.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Monday on the Northwest Side there was a donation drive for migrants coordinated by the Irish American Heritage Center. On the Southwest Side, migrant families continued to move into Daley College.

Over the next few weeks, the Johnson administration's goal is to move the 800 asylum seekers out of Chicago's police stations and into transitional housing.

READ MORE: Migrant families move into Southwest Side college

"I know there are a few more locations that they've been looking into, the first step is to make sure the local community and local representatives are not only aware they participate, hopefully supportive," said 25th Ward Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez.

Daley and Wright colleges are being used to house the migrants. Ald. Sigcho-Lopez said the city will likely announce a third location soon. He has been working closely with the mayor's office on a comprehensive plan.

"The big concern is more arrivals, new arrivals, we need to make sure we have a comprehensive approach working with each community in collaboration," Sigcho-Lopez said.

RELATED: Chicago City Council approves $51 million for migrant housing

But some immigration advocates said there should already be a plan. The mayor has yet to hire a promised deputy mayor of immigrant, migrant and refugee rights. Sigcho-Lopez said the Johnson administration has been put in a tough position because, he said, the Lightfoot administration did not have a plan. The alderman says unlike Lightfoot, Johnson refuses to force communities into accepting migrants.

"Now we have community meetings, we are working with local officials. It has helped ease local tensions and mistrust, but still a lot of work to do," he said.

There have been several requests from alderman for Governor JB Pritzker to step up, not only with more financial resources, but a state coordinated plan. This week the governor is traveling the state promoting his fifth balanced budget.