Texas increases migrant buses to Chicago, city says 63 have arrived so far this week

Sarah Schulte Image
Thursday, October 12, 2023
Texas increases migrant buses to Chicago
As Texas has increased the number of buses carrying migrants it's sending to Chicago, the city says it needs more help from its own to shelter those arriving every day.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Every inch of the sidewalk in front of the 18th Police District headquarters is wall-to-wall tents, all used for sheltering migrants. There is so little room left that Adriana Colina and her family were forced to find space under a tree across the street.

Colina has just arrived in Chicago with her three sons, all of whom are under the age of seven.

"I didn't think there so much population here at the police station, I thought it would be very different, I thought everything was going to be very fast with a shelter," she said.

According to city data, the 18th Police District on at the corner of Larrabee and Division, has close to 300 migrants living there. Overall there are more than 3,000 new arrivals living at police stations throughout the city.

In a virtual briefing to reporters Thursday, the city said the Texas governor has dramatically increased the fleet of buses he is sending to Chicago.

"He plans on sending 20-25 buses a day, just in the past week we've had 63 buses," said Deputy Chief of Staff Christina Pacione-Zayas.

Pacione-Zayas said the administration's plan to move people out of police stations to yet-to-be-built base camps is imminent, although she would not say where they would be located. Meanwhile, the city is opening a new shelter every six days, but Pacione-Zayas said it's not nearly enough and the city needs more help from its own.

"We've also received quite a bit of pushback and we really need help from community and alders to assist us in being able to help get people off police station floors," she said.

In September the Johnson administration asked all 50 city council members to identify available land or buildings in their wards as potential shelter sites. Pacione-Zayas said only 25% of the alders have offered anything.

The plan for Mayor Johnson to visit the border is also still underway, though his deputy chief of staff would not say exactly when he will be going.