CHICAGO — Chicago has a new plan in the migrant crisis. In a news conference announcement following the passage of his first budget, Mayor Brandon Johnson unveiled some changes for the new arrivals Wednesday.
“Above all, we are treating our new neighbors with compassion because it is the humane thing to do,” Johnson said. “Because with support they can become productive members of our communities, contributing to our economy, our culture and our society.”
The first bus carrying migrants arrived in Chicago on Aug. 31, 2022. Since then, more than 20,000 people, many from Venezuela, have arrived.
“We’ve got people sleeping on floors and outside, our police districts have been overwhelmed since the very beginning of our mission,” Johnson said.
Johnson said the new plan will give migrants a 60-day limit in city-run shelters and that there will be a dedicated entry point for the asylum seekers. According to Johnson, this will all be part of an expedited plan to process migrants and get them on the path to work.
“Making those investments on the front end, with the resources we are providing,” Johnson said. “We have to make sure that we are setting up these families up to actually contribute so we can have a return on that investment.”
Also starting as early as this weekend, Johnson said bus companies that drop off migrants and disregard City rules will face citations and fines.
The new city budget includes 150 million dollars for these services, but Johnson said the state and county will also help contribute to the crisis.
“A promise to never sacrifice the needs of Chicagoans,” Johnson said. “Chicago, I heard you and I hear you.”