Chicago Residents Balk at Planned ‘Migrant Respite Center’ in Their Neighborhood

Local leaders in Chicago’s South Shore recently met with residents to discuss a plan to create a “migrant respite center” in an empty school building. They met with immediate resistance from dozens of community members.



The resistance was so strong that those leaders had difficulty getting a word in during the loud gathering. Residents expressed their reservations about housing migrants at the former South Shore High School building in the 7600 block of South Constance Avenue.

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“While this crisis may constitute an emergency for the city of Chicago, it does not constitute an emergency for the South Shore community.” one local leader said but was quickly shouted down for attempting to trivialize the residents’ concerns.

One local leader said that the number of migrants present at any one time will be “fluid” but will start from 250 to 500.

“How could you do that without consulting us?” one woman asked incredulously. “I’m concerned with safety in the area.” said another.

One resident even held up a sign to “Build the Wall.”

“I am outraged,” one resident said, according to NBC Chicago. “I am outraged, and I don’t understand why our community was chosen.”

According to NBC Chicago, residents say they are sympathetic to the plight that the migrants have gone through after they fled to the United States to escape horrifying conditions in their home countries. Still, they are also concerned about public safety if the proposed plan moves forward, especially because the South Shore is one of the city’s poorer areas.

“I don’t hate anyone,” one resident said. “I just want to feel safe.”

The plan comes after Texas and Florida decide to bus migrants out of their states to blue areas like Chicago and New York. The move was born out of a desire to protect their state from an influx it’s not prepared to handle and to ensure voters experience the consequences of the policies of their preferred politicians.

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Several observers on Twitter echoed this message.


Another woman, speaking to Fox 32, talked about the betrayal many in the community feel.


“”It is a slap in the face that we as citizens of the United States of America do not have the resources and support but you’re gonna bringPeople who are not citizens here in our community in our buildings that we pay taxes for that you took away from us. That is completely unacceptable, we are in a humanitarian crisis right now!”

Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson has claimed that the city is obligated not just to welcome but service the migrants.

Community leaders have attempted to soften the blow by calling the move a respite center instead of a shelter. Either way, the city leaders are desperate to move them out of the police stations where they are currently living.



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