Chicago suburbs establish anti-drop-off laws to curb influx of  migrants

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By Carina

Several Chicago area suburbs have adopted ordinances to prevent the drop-off of migrants from buses.

These measures come as the region faces an influx of border crossers, while some towns are accepting significant state and federal funding to support these migrants.

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Bus services disrupted in Rosemont and Cicero

In the past week, buses arriving from El Paso, Texas, were turned away from locations in Rosemont and Cicero due to these new city ordinances.

In Rosemont, where a regulation was passed on December 11, police threatened to impound buses if passengers disembarked.

Similarly, Cicero officials have implemented fines for bus companies dropping off homeless migrants within city limits.

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Sanctuary city policy tensions rise in Cicero and Rosemont

“It’s wrong to drop people on the street with nowhere to go,” said Ray Hanania, a spokesman for Cicero.

“We think every community should do this to prevent this. They need to force the state to come up with a better plan for homeless people.”

Neither Rosemont nor Cicero has sanctuary city status, contrasting with their neighboring Chicago and Cook County’s sanctuary policies.

This difference in policy approach has led to increased pressure on the borders of these non-sanctuary cities.

Chicago suburbs diverge on migrant policies

Beyond restricting migrant drop-offs, some suburbs are taking additional measures.

Rosemont, Schaumburg, and Elk Grove Village have passed ordinances limiting hotel stays, with some exceptions for citizens facing temporary housing crises or corporate tenants.

Conversely, other Chicago area cities like Elgin are adopting a more welcoming approach.

Elgin’s grant focuses on immediate migrant care

Elgin recently accepted a $1.7 million grant from SMASS for caring for migrants already in the town, clarifying that this funding is not for accommodating new influxes.

“They’re here already, and they have needs right now,” said Elgin council member John Steffen. “It’s not something we can afford to debate about.”

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Oak Park, Naperville address migrant crisis with emergency housing efforts

Oak Park and Naperville are among the suburbs extending support to migrants. Oak Park utilizes a $1 million state grant and federal COVID-19 recovery funds for emergency housing.

Naperville is exploring temporary housing options for migrants.

Village President Vicki Scaman emphasized the urgency: “I consider it a humanitarian crisis,” she said.

“The cold weather in Chicago makes emergency temporary housing necessary.” But she cautioned, “It is unsustainable for any one community to do it all by themselves.”

Chicago introduces stricter migrant drop-off regulations

Despite its sanctuary city status, Chicago is imposing new rules to limit migrant drop-offs.

Officials now have the authority to impound buses from companies violating these restrictions.

Amid efforts to manage new arrivals, Mayor Brandon Johnson and city aldermen are also actively working to prevent a public vote on maintaining sanctuary city status.

Chicago rejects sanctuary ballot amid migrant influx challenges

Recently, Johnson and council allies blocked a ballot measure to let voters decide on sanctuary issues.

As the Chicago region grapples with the challenges of migrant influxes, differing responses from local governments reflect a complex landscape of humanitarian concerns, political strategies, and community impacts.

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