Chicago, IL

Chicago Migrants Housed on the North Side Being Moved to the South Side Prompting Protests and Controversy

Natalie Frank, Ph.D.

Residents express resistance as Daley College transitions from men-only facility to accommodate families
Chicago migrants displeased over being moved from West Ridge YMCA and Rogers Park on North Side to Daley college on South SidePhoto bywoodleywonderworks/flickr [CC BY 2.0]

In a controversial move, migrants who were originally housed on Chicago's North Side are now being relocated to the South Side, triggering a wave of discontent among the affected individuals. The sudden displacement has elicited strong reactions from the migrants, who have expressed their reluctance to be uprooted from the neighborhoods they have come to know as home. Adding to the complexity of the situation, Daley College, which was initially designated for men only due to safety concerns, will now house families, further intensifying the concerns surrounding this relocation.

The migrants, many of whom have established a sense of familiarity and belonging in their North Side communities, are now faced with the unsettling prospect of being uprooted and moved to unfamiliar territory. This sudden displacement has caused frustration, anxiety and anger among the affected individuals, who feel a deep connection to the neighborhoods where they have resided.

Many of the families have complained that the move is unfair as their children have library cards, go on field trips, have attended school and know the neighborhoods well enough to ride their bikes there. They have protested that instead of moving them to make room for new migrants, the city should move the new migrants who aren't established anywhere yet to the South Side.

One particular concern that has emerged is the decision to repurpose Daley College, which was previously reserved for men due to safety considerations. The change in designation has sparked debates regarding the suitability of the facility to accommodate families. Critics argue that the decision to house families in a facility initially deemed unsafe for them raises questions about the prioritization of safety and well-being.

Two families have said they will voluntarily move but the rest of the migrants on the North Side say they will refuse to move until they are forced to do so.

Chicago continues to have hundreds of migrants arrive each day via buses, planes, and various other means of transportation. With assistance from not-for-profit organizations at the border, the efforts of Texas Governor Greg Abbot who refuses to house migrants in his state, or through their own efforts coming from different states, these asylum-seekers have been drawn to Chicago after hearing from fellow migrants that the city offers shelter, food, and a range of opportunities, all free of charge.

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