U.S. border authorities encountered a record-setting number of migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in September, with more than 260,000 encounters reported by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
As a result, many of these migrants are being transported by bus to cities like Denver, Chicago, and New York, placing significant strain on urban centers, their resources and budgets.
In Denver, approximately 300 new arrivals arrive daily, resulting in more than 20,000 people finding shelter in the city, with costs exceeding $26 million.
Since the spring of 2022, 118,000 migrants have ended up in New York City. Officials have been forced to open over 200 shelters and 17 humanitarian relief centers to accommodate them.
In Chicago, 25 buses arrive each day transporting as many as 1,250 migrants daily. Today, there are still at least 3,000 migrants residing at police stations throughout Chicago.
The situation in Chicago has deteriorated to the point where Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker penned a letter to President Joe Biden, requesting assistance and underscoring the gravity of the state’s predicament, reported by the Chicago Sun-Times.
“The federal government’s lack of intervention and coordination at the border has created an untenable situation for Illinois,” Pritzker wrote, emphasizing the urgent need for comprehensive reform.
Illinois has allocated over $300 million for humanitarian aid, with Chicago alone dedicating more than $100 million.
Pritzker has also put forth several recommendations for Biden, including the creation of a single point of contact for all migrant-related issues, increased funding for housing in states, and expedited authorization processes for asylum-seekers.
City officials have grappled with the crisis, holding meetings with residents to address concerns. Emotions ran high, with residents expressing frustration about the influx of migrants into their neighborhoods. City officials stressed that this is an unprecedented and dire situation, with over one thousand migrants arriving daily and limited available accommodations.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams has been outspoken in calling on the rest of the state to step in and help share the burden, along with asking the Biden administration for more aid and seeking ways to expedite the process of obtaining work visas.
Chicago’s 19th precinct — the largest police station in the city — is at full capacity housing more than 150 migrants with many camped out in front of the station. In the 12th precinct , floods of migrants were loaded onto buses to be sent to a shelter which used to be a warehouse.
In Texas, 2,000 people were reported seeking asylum in El Paso daily in September — up from about 400 per day in August.
Biden has grappled with a record number of migrants crossing illegally since he took office in 2021, and is already facing criticism over the issue as he runs for reelection in 2024.