April 14, 2024
Chicago’s South Aspect Rejects Plan for Housing Migrants in Neighborhood

Residents within the south aspect of Chicago are upset over the town’s plans to deal with migrants in a former highschool within the South Shore neighborhood and are taking authorized motion to dam the constructing from being was a short lived shelter.

No less than two residents have filed a lawsuit in opposition to the town and Chicago Public Faculties (CPS) in an effort to dam plans to open the old-fashioned as a “respite middle” for no less than 250 and as much as 500 migrants who’ve been bused to Chicago from Texas.

Final week, the town introduced that migrants would obtain short-term, primary facilities on the former college whereas awaiting extra everlasting placement in a shelter. The announcement got here amid stories that lots of the migrants have been experiencing inhumane situations amid the “humanitarian disaster” that has pushed the town’s shelter system to its limits.

However South Shore residents argue that the plans violate the phrases of a 2019 lease settlement between CPS and the town, which had agreed to make use of the constructing as a coaching middle for police and hearth departments till 2028.

Newsweek reached out to Lightfoot through cellphone and CPS through e mail for remark.

Chicago’s South Aspect Rejects Plan for Housing Migrants in Neighborhood
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot publicizes a state of emergency to assist take care of an inflow of migrants, throughout a press convention on Might 9, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois.
Scott Olson/Getty Photographs

Chicago is likely one of the handful of cities run by Democratic mayors focused by Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s workplace amid the record-breaking variety of migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. During the last yr, Abbott has transported migrants north in an effort to spotlight the state of affairs on the border and ramp up strain on the Biden administration to alter its immigration insurance policies.

In response, Chicago has arrange no less than 10 shelters to deal with migrants. Metropolis officers say that it has budgeted $125 million to deal with the inflow of migrants this yr alone. Final week, it was introduced that the federal authorities would give the town one other $4.3 million to assist with the migrant disaster.

This month, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot wrote a letter to Abbott criticizing him for sending migrants to the town, saying that whereas she was sympathetic to the challenges border cities have been dealing with, the busing of migrants was no answer.

“Your lack of consideration or coordination in an try and trigger chaos and rating political factors has resulted in a crucial tipping level in our skill to obtain people and households in a protected, orderly, and dignified approach,” Lightfoot wrote.

New York Metropolis Mayor Eric Adams has additionally accused Abbott of focusing on Black mayors by sending migrants to Chicago, New York Metropolis, Los Angeles, Denver and Washington, D.C.—all run by Black mayors. Lightfoot will go away workplace subsequent week, however her successor, Brandon Johnson, can be Black.

Lots of South Shore’s Black residents additionally really feel as if the town has been fast to behave on securing extra residents regardless of a historical past of ignoring their wants, Block Membership Chicago reported.

“This isn’t concerning the migrants,” Natasha Dunn, a South Shore resident who’s a plaintiff within the lawsuit, stated throughout a Thursday press convention, based on the Chicago Solar-Occasions. “That is about all the metropolis of Chicago ignoring our group as a result of this college belongs to us.”

Lawyer Frank Avila stated the frustration surrounding the plans to deal with migrants on the college are largely fueled by the truth that South Shore is “an underfunded group with closed faculties, with closed packages, with closed social providers, housing points and the like.

“There are social providers which can be wanted for low-income residents, no matter their race,” he stated through the press convention. “None of those assets have been made out there.”

Dunn additionally stated that neighbors weren’t included in conversations about housing migrants on the former college. Alder Michelle Harris, an in depth ally of Lightfoot, additionally stated she was caught off guard by the plans, telling residents throughout final week’s public assembly that she came upon concerning the non permanent shelter whereas on trip.