In a recent development, Mayor Lori Lightfoot of Chicago has issued an emergency declaration in response to the arrival of migrants in the city.
The mayor expressed concerns over the city’s depleted resources and lack of space to accommodate the growing number of migrants.
The executive order allows the city to access emergency funds and potentially involve the Illinois National Guard if necessary.
Mayor Lightfoot criticized Texas Governor Greg Abbott and called on President Joe Biden to take further action, stating that the crisis is exhausting and endangering the city.
Currently, the existing seven shelters and three respite sites are housing around 3,200 migrants, while more than 450 are forced to sleep in police stations across Chicago.
On average, 150 migrants are arriving in the city each day, prompting the mayor’s decision to declare an emergency.
The situation has become dire, with individuals lacking access to basic necessities like showers, and children in need of proper housing.
Mayor Lightfoot expressed frustration at the repeated failure to find adequate space and the adverse impact on community unity.
To address the issue, Chicago’s budget committee has approved $51 million in surplus funds, primarily for staffing at shelters.
An additional $18 million from settlements related to opioids and vaping will be allocated to provide assistance.
However, despite receiving $30 million from the state of Illinois, Chicago’s request for $61 million from FEMA has only been partially fulfilled, with $4.3 million received so far.
With limited options available, the city aims to utilize the approved funding to provide immediate support, including shelter, food, and staffing.
However, this effort comes at a significant cost, as the allocated city funds are only expected to last until June.
Mayor Lightfoot is urging President Biden to provide federal dollars and issue emergency work permits, stating that allowing migrants to work and support themselves would alleviate many challenges.
However, she expressed concern that the necessary actions are not being taken swiftly enough to address the crisis at hand.
Alderman Sick Pez reported an incident where individuals sought shelter at a police station in his ward, highlighting the urgency of the situation.
The office of Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson was approached for comment on this matter, as it will soon become his responsibility when he assumes office on Monday.
The full story and updates can be found at the following link: [Link to the full news article]