CHICAGO — Residents who live across the street from a vacant lot in Brighton Park are now on the corner 24/7 and our upset over a plan to build a camp to house 1,500 migrants.
The street is now closed and police are on site near 38th and California as city trucks move in and out of the site.
On Thursday, 12th Ward Ald. Julia Ramirez came to the site to speak with her constituents when she said protesters assaulted her and a staffer.
“To be really honest with you, I’m looking at big picture,” Ramirez said. “I’ve learned a lot from it. I live a few blocks from that lot. This isn’t about that incident. I think it’s so much greater than that. I’m just looking forward.”
Last month, Johnson asked city alderpeople to submit locations for migrant base campsites. Ramirez said she never sent one.
Ramirez said the mayor’s administration was in direct contact with the property owner, the Sanchez Group, which submitted an application for the site at 38th and California to be considered.
Ramirez said she knew nothing about it.
“I want the residents to know I know they’re frustrated, I’m also frustrated,” Ramirez said. “I’m validating that experience. What’s so important is we’ve had a week and a half with very little information to share. I think it’s time for the city to step up and provide that information.”
On Tuesday evening, a meeting was held to discuss the plans.
People who live near the site said they’re worried about public safety.
The city said the base camps would have unarmed security and an 11 p.m. curfew.
But migrants would be free to come and go, have to sign in and out and go through metal detectors.
“I know there are safety concerns,” Chicago Police Department Area 1 Commander Don Jerome said. “I know this district well. We will increase patrols but I will be transparent, with more people here, may be more problems.”