364 border migrants have been bussed to Chicago in 10 days
ELK GROVE, Ill. (WLS) -- North suburban village officials said they were given little notice that 90 migrants would arrive in their community by bus on Friday afternoon.
About 454 migrants have arrived in Chicago from the Texas border, the city's Department of Family and Support Services said Saturday. After receiving approximately 364 migrants as of Aug. 31, 90 more arrived on Friday.
Elk Grove Village officials said state officials informed them at 1:30 p.m. Friday that those migrants would arrive in their community by bus that afternoon. But that arrival was delayed until Saturday after village officials said they tried "to gain a better understanding of the situation" from local, county, state and federal agencies.
Village officials said they did not receive any direction from those agencies about how to handle the "unanticipated situation," adding that they were unaware the state's plan included sending migrants to suburban hotels.
"While the village is now well-informed about what is taking place, I cannot tell you how disappointing it is to see the haphazard way in which this has been handled by county, state, and City of Chicago officials," said Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson. "The village received no advanced notice that the migrants would be arriving here. We received no information about when the bus would arrive, where the migrants would stay or whose responsibility it was to provide food or medical care. Only after we began making phone calls and asking tough questions did we get the answers we were looking for."
The new arrivals will be dropped off at the local La Quinta Hotel, where some will stay indefinitely, village officials said.
"After having spent the last 24 hours asking tough questions and getting honest answers, we are satisfied that the federal agencies tasked with performing health and safety screening on the migrants are doing their job. We have confidence in their ability to manage this situation capably," Johnson said.
The mayor also assured residents that the village is ready for the migrants to arrive.
"Job number one for us is ensuring the health, safety and welfare of our residents and our entire community. We will stay on top of this situation on their behalf, hold responsible agencies accountable, and manage this issue in a way that keeps our residents safe and well-informed," Johnson said.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she welcomes these asylum-seekers, but has called the busing system "inhumane."