The new mayor of Chicago in the United States is grappling with how to house hundreds of migrants arriving by bus from the border with Mexico. Reuters reported that some people are sleeping in overcrowded police stations and shelters after a surge in border crossings earlier this month.
The agency reported that officials in the third largest US city say they cannot afford to rent hotel rooms for all the arriving migrants. and that he has lobbied for more federal funds. In such an environment, some migrants resort to police stations in search of a safe place to sleep.
“We’re waiting to see where they’re going to put us,” said Tomas Orozco, 55, a Venezuelan who arrived at the Chicago shelter with his family on Wednesday after a difficult seven-week journey.
Orozco said the journey took him through the Darien Gap and that members of his family were still sick from drinking the contaminated water.
In the days leading up to the end of Title 42, tens of thousands of people crossed the border illegally before US President Joe Biden implemented the tough new asylum regulation.
Earlier this month, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, resumed his campaign to bus migrants to northern Democratic bastions including Chicago and New York.
Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson, a Democrat who took office on Monday, reaffirmed the city’s commitment to welcoming asylum seekers in his inaugural address. “There is enough room for all,” he said.
His Democratic predecessor, Lori Lightfoot, declared a state of emergency earlier this month. He called the influx of immigrants a humanitarian crisis and pushed for more federal aid.
Dean Wynne, the owner of a Chicago building that served as a temporary shelter for about 200 migrants, said the families had been quarantined and pacified the day before they arrived.
“By the second day, I could see little kids playing, playing catch, hitting the ball here and there. They were just happy,” Wien said.