Chicago: Migrant Evictions Will Begin Sunday

AP Photo/Paul Beaty

As you've probably heard, Chicago has been dealing with a large number of migrants, many of whom have arrived by bus from Texas. Starting last year, Mayor Brandon Johnson was trying to discourage the buses by impounding them. But he couldn't do that to the plane loads of migrants which flew in from Texas.


Things got worse this month when there was a measles outbreak at one of the city's shelters housing the migrants. The number of cases reached 12 yesterday and most of them are connected to one of the city's shelters. 

Despite the outbreak the city continued to press forward with a new plan that would limit migrants to 60 days in a city shelter. That plan was announced last November but Mayor Johnson has extended the deadline three times to avoid evicting people during the frigid Chicago weather. Now the deadline is finally set to take effect this weekend but yesterday the mayor announced another last minute change of plans.

Mayor Brandon Johnson’s administration announced Friday that 35 migrants will be evicted from Chicago’s migrant shelter system this weekend while scores of others will receive new exemptions allowing them to stay, the latest update in his handling of a 60-day shelter limit policy that has seen months of delays and backlash.

The group of 35 will be the first migrants required to leave the shelters, after a week of uncertainty over whether the Johnson administration would move ahead with limited evictions this Saturday amid outcry from a group of aldermen opposed to the policy...

After Sunday, a larger wave of about 2,000 migrants will be required to exit in waves between next week and the end of April, the administration said. Their evictions will be staggered, with 244 set to be removed by the end of March and 1,782 more are scheduled to be forced to leave shelters between April 1 and April 30, the administration said.


The overall sense created by the repeated delays and exemptions granted at the last moment is one of chaos.

Volunteer Lydia Wong said there is "a lot of confusion going on; a lot of panic and worry" among those facing evictions this coming Saturday.

Wong said some of the new arrivals do not know where they will go.

"It's not been a well-thought-out or well-executed policy," Wong said. "Sixty days is not enough time to find housing."

The idea of a 60-day eviction policy seems intentionally obtuse given that most newly arriving migrants won't be able to get work permits under federal law for six months. This is something that Mayor Adams in New York has complained about at length.

Ald. Andre Vasquez (40th) - chairman of the Committee on Immigrant and Refugee Rights - are calling on the mayor to work with migrants on a case-by-case basis.

"Eighty percent of the population is not eligible for work permits," Vasquez said, "so you're seeing between now and the end of April, if this were to go forward, anywhere from [2,000] to 5,000 people who can't get jobs, and don't have rental assistance."

You can imagine how the left/media would be reacting if Trump or really any conservative politician were evicting migrants from shelters at a time when a) most can't legally work and b) average daytime temperatures are still in the high 40 to low 50 degrees. Adam Serwer or someone just like him would be arguing that "the cruelty is the point" and every progressive within earshot would be nodding their approval at the sheer brutality of it. There are some complaints from local activists but it doesn't seem to be attracting much national attention yet.


Politics aside, this new policy seems awfully harsh for a sanctuary city but what is Johnson supposed to do? It's almost as if things change when you have actual responsibility for thousands of people who show up uninvited. This local news report is from yesterday.

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