Chicago, IL

Construction to build migrant shelter in Chicago shut down by the state of Illinois

Adrian Holman
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After the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) did a review of the proposed migrant shelter in Chicago's Brighton Park neighborhood at 38th and California, the administration of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has made the decision to force the Windy City to shut down all construction on the site.

"My administration is committed to keeping asylum seekers safe as we work to help them achieve independence. We will not proceed with housing families on a site where serious environmental concerns are still present. My administration remains committed to a data-driven plan to improve the asylum-seeker response and we will continue to coordinate with the City of Chicago as we work to expand available shelter through winter."

Construction workers began building on the site last week until they learned that the soil at the site is a contaminated wasteland. The soil was contaminated with mercury. The workers removed the contaminated soil, but that was not sufficient for the IEPA and IEPA Director John J. Kim because the whole site would have to be excavated.

"IEPA would not approve the proposed Brighton Park site for residential use, based on our regulatory standards for remediation of contamination properties. The well-being of residents and workers at the site is our highest priority, and current and planned site conditions do not adequately reduce risks of human exposure to known and potential environmental conditions."

The city now has to find alternative shelter quickly for the 2,000 migrants that they were going to move into this proposed tent city. However, two thousand lives have been saved because they would have been greatly impacted if they would have been inhaling mercury 24/7 at that site.

Nevertheless, this failed plan is not as bad as what is being planned in the United Kingdom where the British are looking to move their migrants to Africa.


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