CHICAGO — As Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson responds to criticism over the cost and competence of his policies toward migrants, new numbers show fewer new arrivals are sleeping in police stations and the city’s airports.
Nearly 1,300 fewer migrants are sleeping on the floors of police stations and in an old bus depot at O’Hare airport than mid-October. City data also show the number of migrants in shelters has doubled since August and now stands at 12,095.
It’s unclear whether cold weather, a lack of shelter space or alternative housing is behind the drop in migrants sleeping in police stations and airports. There are still more than 2,200 awaiting shelter space.
The Johnson administration announced this week that new arrivals will only be allowed to stay in city-run shelters for 60-days.
Despite signing a $29M contract with Garda World in September to construct large winterized tents for migrants, not a single tent stake has been driven into the ground. The plan has been greeted by fierce opposition from residents in Brighton Park and Morgan Park. City crews could be seen taking soil samples and conducting preliminary work at the sites in recent weeks; but the mayor has still not offered a timeline for their opening.