CHICAGO — Mayor Lori Lightfoot has issued an emergency declaration in response to the ongoing influx of migrants from Texas.
Police sources told WGN News as of Tuesday — there are nearly 500 migrants staying in police station lobbies across the city.
“All City Department Heads are directed to undertake whatever efforts are feasible pursuant to their powers and duties, and to direct their employees accordingly, to manage this
declared emergency,” part of the declaration reads.
In Section 3, Lightfoot reserves the authority to request the mobilization of the Illinois National Guard by Gov. Pritzker.
The local crisis began after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott started to send migrants to Chicago and other cities last year.
At the end of April, Mayor Lightfoot wrote a letter to Texas Gov. Abbott, stating in part, “We simply have no more shelters, spaces, or resources to accommodate an increase of individuals at this level.”
“We have reached a breaking point in our response to this humanitarian crisis primary manufactured by (Abbott) for cynical political purposes,” Lightfoot said during a press conference Tuesday.
Since August 2022, Chicago has welcomed over 8,000 migrants to the city.
“Both our pre-existing facilities and newly-created facilities are full,” Lightfoot said. “I explained this to the governor, who ignored this reality, all to burnish his right-wing credentials as he fades to irrelevancy with the upcoming presidential cycle.”
During the press conference, Lightfoot expressed dismay at a lower level of FEMA funds given to the city compared to last year and called on the federal government to help expedite work permits.
Last week, hundreds of residents gathered at a meeting regarding the Lightfoot administration’s proposal to open the old South Shore High School to newly arriving migrants.
Administration members were supposed to give a presentation but were interrupted by angry outbursts. At the presentation, they said the city must identify respite sites to relieve police stations where hundreds migrants are currently living.
On Monday, the Chicago Police Sergeants’ Association joined the Chicago FOP in calling out the city for sending migrants to police districts.
The union’s president, James Calvino, said the situation has not improved and only continues to become a bigger problem at police stations across the city.
Read the emergency declaration below.