CHICAGO, Ill. (WTVO) — Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued a State of Emergency declaration on Tuesday due to a surge in immigrants arriving in Chicago from Texas.
According to the mayor’s office, the situation amounts to a “national humanitarian crisis” that is “exceeding the City’s ability to manage” the influx of over 8,000 migrants who have arrived since last August.
“Chicago is doing everything it can to respond to the urgency of this matter. The City has continued to call on federal and state governments to support the new arrival mission with much-needed additional funding and resources for emergency shelter and resettlement, as there are not enough resources currently to meet the need,” Lightfoot’s office said.
The move comes as the United States is preparing for the end of a COVID-19 pandemic-era immigration rule, Title 42, which allowed the federal government to restrict the number of migrants seeking asylum in the country.
Governors in southern states, who say the government has left them to pick up the expense of housing and giving healthcare to undocumented migrants crossing the border, have sent busloads to large cities which boasted of being “sanctuary cities.”
The arrivals have overwhelmed Chicago’s shelters, according to the Chicago Tribune. Lightfoot said the city’s resources have been stretched “to the breaking point.”
The city has used other facilities as shelters, such as a former school building in South Shore, but they have received backlash from residents in those areas who complained that they had not been notified of an “intrusion into daily life.
“While this may constitute an emergency for the city of Chicago, it does not constitute an emergency for the South Shore community,” Ald. Michelle Harris said at a heated community meeting last week.