Chicago May Close Some Migrant Shelters

Chicago’s city government announced last week that it was seeking to close a number of migrant shelters operated since the current crisis began. The news comes as Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson (D) faces increasing pressure from residents and some Democrats over the cost and scope of the migrant wave.

Chicago has been using five public parks as part of an effort to house the migrants. The New Arrivals Mission provided shelter for the illegal immigrants arriving in Chicago. However, the effort began last week to transition the parks from a shelter into nearby shelters.

The hope is to return the parks to public use by summer.

“We are grateful to the alderpersons and communities who have embraced new neighbors with open arms, and we are pleased that these park facilities will be transitioned back to their intended purpose in time for summer programming,” said the mayor.

Overall, the five parks currently house about 800 migrants. The city has spent about $300 million in sheltering the migrants. The city currently has almost 11,000 migrants in 23 shelters across the city.

Johnson’s approach received considerable criticism from some residents and elected officials. The city has adopted a more accepting tone for migrants than others, including New York City.

The new mayor called for accepting migrants during his inaugural address last year and has not called for a cessation of the migrant flow into the city.

Other cities, such as New York, have actively requested that migrants not come. That city has taken in almost 200,000 migrants in the last two years and is facing considerable budget cuts due to the increased cost.

New York City has distributed literature in English and Spanish saying that it did not have the resources to take in more migrants and asked them not to arrive. A number of politicians in the city stated their support for migrants prior to the current crisis, especially during the tenure of former President Donald Trump.