Chicago, IL

Chicago's Englewood Residents Continue to Fight Against Large Number of Migrant Bus Arrivals

Natalie Frank, Ph.D.

Chicago has encountered challenges in accommodating huge number of migrants from Texas border, sparking community resistance about the impact of immigration
Englewood neighborhood, South Side ChicagoPhoto byDavid Wilson/flickr [CC BY 2.0]

Chicago, in the course of this year, has witnessed the arrival of 376 migrant buses from the Texas border, and this figure doesn't even encompass new arrivals who have opted for air travel to reach the city.

Despite a recent lull with no buses arriving on Monday and just one on Sunday, the city is grappling with the task of providing housing for over 3,000 migrants. The situation has spurred resistence due to the city's capacity and response to the influx of migrants.

On the eve of a pivotal meeting in Brighton Park, and as migrant families prepare to move into a shelter in West Town, a group of Englewood residents has voiced a plea for the city to redirect migrant buses.

At the Center of Englewood, a gathering of residents convened at an event coined the 'Stop the Buses' rally. Hosted by the Black American Voters Project and NumbersUSA, the event featured panelists who explored the perceived adverse effects of immigration on Black Americans.

Pamela Denise Long, a panelist at the 'Stop the Buses' rally and contributor to Newsweek, conveyed the sentiment of residents: "What we’re hearing from residents, basically, is that their voices are not being heard, that people aren’t taking them seriously. I think what we’re seeing there is we’re at this crucial point in American history where we’re trying to balance diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism with what it means to be a nation state that attends to the needs of its own people first."

Meanwhile, in West Town, residents who had been opposing a migrant shelter at 526 N. Western Avenue encountered a setback as their request for a temporary restraining order was denied. Families are now expected to commence moving into the facility in the coming days.

Amidst escalating tensions, including a recent heated meeting in the South Shore neighborhood, another town hall meeting is scheduled in Brighton Park to deliberate on the proposed migrant encampment at 38th and California. Despite being situated in Ald. Julia Ramirez's 12th Ward, the meeting will be overseen by Ald. Ray Lopez (15th Ward), who believes that residents' voices were not adequately heard during a prior discussion on the topic.

The upcoming meeting is slated to take place at the Brighton Park Community Campus, situated at 4800 S. Western Ave, from 6 to 8 p.m. It serves as a platform for the community to engage in a dialogue about the challenges and implications of the migrant influx in the city.

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