Pritzker: Federal response to migrant crisis ‘uncoordinated’, Illinois requests for assistance ‘ignored’

CHICAGO — A community gathering was held on Monday at Benito Juarez Academy to discuss a new migrant shelter coming to Pilsen as Governor Pritzker calls on the federal government to step up.

Tempers flared on Monday at the community meeting as the city unveiled its plan to open its first shelter in Pilsen on Wednesday.

Currently, there are 23 shelters operating in the city of Chicago that house 10,000 people, while 3,000 still remain at police stations and airports.

In a new letter to President Joe Biden, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker calls the federal response to the crisis uncoordinated and he says the federal government has largely ignored Illinois’ requests so far. 

The governor wrote:

“The federal government’s lack of intervention and coordination at the border has created an untenable situation for Illinois. There is much more that can and must be done on a federal level to address a national humanitarian crisis that is currently being shouldered by state and local governments without support.”

The governor recommends that President Biden create a single office with an identified leader to oversee the border and coordinate with cities and states, give the state more money for housing, food and social services and speed up the work authorization process for asylum-seekers.

Gov. Pritzker’s plea comes after more than 15,000 migrants have arrived in Chicago, many of them currently living at police stations. After two busloads of migrants arrived at CPD’s Area 2 on the far south side over the weekend, Alderman Anthony Beale sounded the alarm about just how untenable the situation has become there.

“The problem with that is the Area Two 5th District is a sex registry where you have sex offenders that have to come and check in on a daily basis and you have women and children that are being housed there and it’s totally illegal.”

On Monday, seven new buses of migrants arrived in Chicago and city officials anticipate that’ll grow to 25 buses a day in the coming weeks.

Border Report

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