CHICAGO — The group South Shore Neighbors filed a lawsuit Thursday, a temporary restraining order, to try to block the City of Chicago from moving migrants to the old South Shore High School.
Last week, the city said last week they wanted to use the old school as a respite site.
Hundreds of residents attended a city-led community forum last week where members of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration were supposed to give a presentation, but were interrupted by angry outbursts.
The attorney representing the community believes the city and Chicago Public Schools would be in violation of a lease by moving forward with the plan.
“The lease is a contract, a legal document and going outside the terms of the legal document,” Frank Avila said. “Number two, it’s a zoning issue. This is not zoned for residential housing.”
The city said between 250 to 500 migrants would be housed at South Shore High School and it would be staffed by Chicago police round the clock.
“Why not Pilsen, Belmont Cragin, Logan Square, Little Village or Hedwich? Communities that have a supportive cultural infrastructure,” Jimmy Darnell Jones, a South Shore resident, said.
The city said it must identify more respite sites to relieve police stations where about 500 migrants are currently living.
With Title 42 expiring, Chicago is preparing for a mass influx, with hundreds more expected over the next several weeks.
“As Latinos, I feel like we really care about family and I think it’s important for the community to come together,” Gina Gomez said.
A new shelter just opened in Pilsen in a vacant warehouse where about 70 migrants are staying.
Juan Aguirre with the National Institute teamed up with Ald. Ray Lopez and others to give these people a place to stay instead of sleeping at the 12th police district.
“This is not about the migrants, this is about the entire city of Chicago ignoring our community,” Natasha said. “This school belongs to us.”
In South Shore, residents said they wanted the school, which most recently served as a police academy, to become a community or youth center.
WGN News reached out to the mayor’s office and CPS for a comment and to see if the plans were still on the table. We are still awaiting a response.