Black Chicago residents angry over the influx of migrants causing a crisis in the South and East Side

Chicago’s Southside residents are struggling with the increase of migrants and calling the city leaders to pay more attention to what is happening in the predominantly Black neighborhoods.

Over 20,000 migrants since August 2022

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Chicago has been trying to find housing for over 20,000 migrants who arrived in the Windy City in the last 15 months. Most of them were sent by busses from Texas under Goverer Greg Abbott’s instructions.

Sleeping in airports

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One part of O’Hare, Chicago’s airport, is now home to over 500 migrants living behind the black curtain. Illinois State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas, a Democrat, commented, “Is it perfect? No.” She added, “What we have done is stood in our values to ensure that we live up to operationalizing a ‘Sanctuary City.’ We will continue to work on it, but we are holding the line.”

Black homeowners are concerned

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Community organizer Jessica Jackson commented on the influx of migrants on the South and Eastside, where the residents are predominantly Black. She said, “The South Side has been under-resourced, under-funded for years, for decades.” She added, “Our money should be going to our communities, not supporting people who haven’t put a dime into our communities.”

No room, no money

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Talking to ABC7 Chicago, community organizer Zoe Leigh said. “We have no time. No energy, no resources. We have no money. Y ‘all are embarrassing Chicago as a whole.” ABC7 I-Team reported that there are over 20 active migrant shelters across the city, seven of which are located on the South and West sides.

The Mayor understands the frustration

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Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson said, “I know there’s been a tremendous burden, particularly on Black Chicagoans. I am fully aware of that.” The Mayor urged people to show solidarity.

More challenges

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“We have a crime that’s out of control. We have a high unemployment rate. We have all these different things that I believe should be addressed but isn’t. And now you’re going to pile in a different group of people into our community. It’s unjust,” said Natasha Dunn, a resident of Southside to Scripps News.

Dunn filed a lawsuit

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The long-time resident of Southside, Dunn, filed a lawsuit against the city, explaining, “We do not want to be overburdened by migrants being put in our neighborhoods.”

Not right

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“The city all of a sudden has money to support another marginalized population. To have those resources readily available to another group when we’ve been advocating for those things for generations is just not right,” commented another resident, Tanesha Peeples.

South Side of Chicago is not made to house immigrants

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Jackson shared a message, “whether it’s one shelter or whether it’s ten shelters, the South Side of Chicago is not made to house immigrants, non-citizens.”

Jackson’s message for the Mayor

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“Mayor Johnson, the Black alderman, alderwomen in this city, you will stand for the Black citizens of Chicago,” Jackson added.

One pastor was more optimistic

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“Having our own difficulties does not in any way, shape, or form allow us to be relieved of our responsibilities to love and help our fellow man,” stated pastor Leonardo Gilbert, whose church runs a food pantry.

The question of security

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Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson reacted, “Who is going to secure these people?” Levinson said, “We really don’t have any infrastructure to take care of them.”

A matter of public safety 

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Hundreds of migrants stay at a shuttle bus center at O’Hare airport in Chicago, raising concerns over safety and public health.

Most arrived from Texas

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Most migrants in the Chicago area were sent there from Texas. Nearly 3,000 have come by plane since June looking for shelter. Among them are many refugees from Venezuela.

O’Hare is temporary housing for 500 adults and children

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Behind a black curtain at O’Hare airport are around 500 people, including babies and elderly. Chicago officials are struggling to find a solution for approximately 14,000 people who arrived in the area in the past year.

The concerns were raised

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“It was supposed to be a stop-and-go place,” said Vianney Marzullo, a volunteer at the airport. “It’s very concerning. It is not just a safety matter but a public health matter.”

Illinois State Senator spoke up

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“Is it perfect? No,” said Illinois State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas, a Democrat, and added, “But what we have done is stood in our values to ensure that we live up to operationalizing a ‘Sanctuary City.’ We will continue to work on it, but we are holding the line.”

Many escaped due to politics and poverty

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Maria Daniela Sanchez Valera, 26, from Venezuela, left with her two-year-old daughter. She went through the jungle with the child to reach the US. The young mother first fled to Peru, where her father was killed.

The mom spoke to the Post

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The 26-year-old told the Post, “We come here with the intention of working, not with the intention of being given everything.” She added, “There are many people who have been able to get out, and they say that in the garbage dumps, you can get good clothes for the children.”

Another migrant fled due to their sexuality

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Venezuelan migrant Yoli Cordova, 42, said she fled because of discrimination due to her sexual orientation. She told Fox, “I don’t know if they’re going to help me here.” She added, “I really don’t know what to do, where to go.”

Abbott showed no mercy

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In September’s press release, the Texas governor said, “Texas communities like Eagle Pass and El Paso should not have to shoulder the unprecedented surge of illegal immigration caused by President Biden’s reckless open border policies.”

Busses from Texas

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“I have directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management to deploy additional buses to send these migrants to self-declared sanctuary cities and provide much-needed relief to our overrun border towns,” Abbott shared.

The Governor holds Biden responsible

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Abbott added, “Until President Biden upholds his constitutional duty to secure America’s southern border, Texas will continue to deploy as many buses as needed to relieve the strain caused by the surge of illegal crossings.” Texas sends migrants to New York and Los Angeles, Chicago.

Chicago is struggling, like other sanctuary cities

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There are talks of turning Atlantic City International Airport in New Jersey into a shelter. Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson reacted, “It is such a preposterous solution to the problems we have,” adding, “Who is going to secure these people? Who is going to feed them? Who is going to educate them? We really don’t have any infrastructure to take care of them.”

Security concerns

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Migrants closer to Windy City’s downtown area have better options. At the airport, asylum advocates claim that options are limited due to security risks. Another risk is that sickness spreads rapidly in this small airport area.

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