Residents protested against a proposed camp in Brighton Park that could house more than 2,000 migrants during a meeting on Chicago’s growing migrant crisis.
The southwest side Chicago neighborhood was divided on the plan. City officials confirmed their plans to build a migrant camp at a vacant “10-acre lot located at 38th & California” according to the outlet.
A statement from the Mayor’s Office reads: “The City of Chicago is identifying viable sites throughout the city for base camps to be constructed as an alternative option to new arrivals who are sleeping outside, at O’Hare or on the floors of district police stations as winter approaches quickly.” The site at 38th and California seems viable and it is intended to build temporary shelter there.
“Nobody asked, nobody told us.” “We have a few thousand people here who signed and said no’. We said no,” one Chicago resident stated during the meeting on Tuesday.
Another community member expressed concern about the safety of children and students who use this street daily.
Local officials claimed that they were not informed of the city’s plans to build a camp in order for migrants until residents began making phone calls. “[Residents] called our office, and, you know, honestly, that’s the way I was notified,” Ald. Julia Ramirez stated. “I reached out to city officials and they confirmed that. Since then, I have been pressing the administration to be open and transparent about the details.”
Ramirez went on to say: “The Mayor’s office didn’t consult me or my office regarding their current plans to build a temporary shelter – meant to house 1500 people – at 38th & California.”
Ramirez didn’t respond to an inquiry for comment.
According to a document on planning, the migrant camp “may serve 2,000 family members and children.”
Some residents demanded that migrants be provided with better housing. One resident stated, “I do not want my neighbors living on the street or in tents.”