Brighton Park residents protest proposed tent 'base camp' location for Chicago migrants

Chicago protest took place at proposed location at 38th, California

Christian Piekos Image
Thursday, October 19, 2023
Brighton Park residents protest proposed tent 'base camp' location
Brighton Park residents were protesting a possible tent base camp location for migrants in Chicago on Thursday.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- There's pushback over a possible migrant tent campsite in Chicago.

A large group of protesters gathered near a privately owned vacant lot at 38th Street and California Avenue about 9 a.m. Thursday.

ABC7 Chicago political analyst Laura Washington weighed in on the delegation sent to the border.

Over 1,000 migrants could be moved there as part of the mayor's plan to get migrants off police station floors.

It comes as a group of Chicago leaders are at the Texas-Mexico border, trying to slow the flow of asylum seekers to the city.

SEE MORE: Chicago delegation warns migrants at Texas border of city's lack of shelter space, oncoming cold

Brighton Park residents on Thursday morning loudly voiced their frustrations over a proposed migrant tent base camp, right across the street from where the band of residents stewed with anger.

"This is unfair to them. This is a slap in the face to immigrants who have worked hard their entire lives to get here, who have raised their children with a hard work ethic," Brighton Park resident Jacquelyn Zuniga said.

Colorful multilingual signs shared their sentiments without any ambiguity: A migrant tent camp is not welcome in Brighton Park.

"We have homeless; we have veterans that we are concerned about. Our vets and our homeless in America need to be prioritized," Zuniga said.

Residents said they were just notified days ago about the possible tent camp, saying they feel stabbed in the back by city leadership.

"By allowing this tent to be built, it's not good. It's just going to create more violence, drugs, more everything, more thieves," Brighton Park resident William Desparrois said.

This isn't the first time there has been fierce opposition to the city's desire to build winterized base camps in different parts of Chicago.

Just last month, residents living in Morgan Park, on the city's Far South Side, bluntly shared their feelings about a possible tent location in their community, at 115th and Halsted streets.

"This change scares me. I used to feel safe here, and I really don't anymore," Brighton Park resident Joanne Koestner said.