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Brighton Park Neighborhood Council denounces violence at anti-migrant encampment protest

Friday, Oct 20, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Background is here if you need it. Brighton Park Neighborhood Council

This morning, 12th Ward Alderwoman Julia Ramirez and her staff were verbally and physically assaulted upon arriving at the proposed migrant camp site on 38th and California to address protestors’ concerns. This is inexcusable behavior. Violence is never a solution.

We understand that the encampment development is not ideal for many reasons. The process has been unclear to the residents and families of Brighton Park who have called the neighborhood home for years. As a result, misinformation has spread across the ward, fueling anti-immigrant and racist remarks. We will not tolerate hateful speech and racism against any immigrant in Chicago or Illinois.

Everyone has the right to seek asylum in the United States, and Brighton Park has historically been a welcoming neighborhood for immigrant families. It is our responsibility to welcome these new families into our city, support them as they recover from their journey, connect them to resources and services, and help them resettle.

* But if you head over to the Brighton Park Community Facebook group, you’ll see angry push-back and denials of any violence. You’ll also see this posted several times…

That’s a news aggregator. The headline is from the Daily Mail

Chicago is giving $9,000 in rental assistance to migrants in need of temporary housing - after it paid a medical firm a staggering $7.2million for staffing shelters for just one week, according to official records.

The original story is from Fox 32

Currently, the state is funding temporary housing, including rented apartments and homes for migrants. The state is providing up to $9,000 in rental assistance over a 6-month period, which includes assistance with moving in and a starter kit to furnish the apartment.

“That rent lasts for six months and ideally people would have started their legal process, secured legal work authorization and be able to sustain that apartment. And so the cost, or I guess the payment toward the landlord is based on market rate, it’s based on the configuration of the parament – how many rooms, where it’s located – all those things. And so it varies from place to place,” said Ald. Pacione-Zayas.

The number of asylum seekers currently utilizing the rental assistance is unclear.

The money is actually from the federal government. But many locals have convinced themselves that this is city money and they’re being shorted.

Bottom line, though, every dollar that goes to the asylum seekers is money that can’t be used for rental assistance for residents. The feds have got to step up.

* From the Tribune’s coverage of the protest

At the protest, a group of people, many who live in the houses surrounding the lot, blocked the entrances to the lot, preventing trucks and other city workers from entering.

A protester posted a pic of people blocking the entrance yesterday…

* Many of the most confrontational protesters yesterday were Asian Americans. This statement is from nearby Ald. Nicole Lee, who is the first Chinese American to serve on the city council

Peaceful protest is the backbone of our democracy, and everyone has the right to make their voice heard. But what my friend and colleague, Ald. Ramirez, and her staff member experienced today in the 12th Ward crossed the line into physical attacks and other actions designed to intimidate. That is unacceptable.

Everyone is entitled to make their concerns heard by City Hall as it determines where and how to place shelters. But the only way we move forward together as a city is through mutual respect and conversations so we can arrive at feasible and sustainable solutions. I am always open to these very conversations and committed to ensuring the concerns of constituents, and the broader Chinese community are heard and addressed.

We’re facing huge public safety challenges, and as we head into winter, we must stop using police stations as de facto migrant shelters. That necessarily means neighborhoods across the city must welcome these individuals into alternative options that are safe, clean, adequately staffed, and warm - for the good of our residents, our police officers, and the migrants themselves.

Now, more than ever, we must work together to navigate this humanitarian crisis in the best interest of our city, and its future.

The neighborhood is represented in the House by Rep. Theresa Mah, the first Asian American elected to the Illinois General Assembly. Rep. Mah echoed Ald. Lee’s remarks online, writing “I could not have said it better.”

* I asked Isabel to take a quick look at how other places are faring…


  1. - Chichi55 - Friday, Oct 20, 23 @ 12:08 pm:


  2. - Jocko - Friday, Oct 20, 23 @ 12:22 pm:

    Give me your tired, your poor…*

    *excepting Central and South Americans seeking asylum

  3. - Roadrager - Friday, Oct 20, 23 @ 1:00 pm:

    ==That’s a news aggregator. The headline is from the Daily Mail…==

    And no one less than Mary Ann Ahern shared that Daily Mail article without context or correction, watched it go viral, and then issued a correction on it nearly a full day later after it had the chance to go around the world a few times.

    If our establishment media lacks modern-day media literacy we are in deeper than we realize.

  4. - DuPage Saint - Friday, Oct 20, 23 @ 1:05 pm:

    As was said yesterday the Mayor does not seem to have a plan. I think this also goes to the Biden administration. I truly believe if people new what was going on what the plans and times were how things would be policed and managed and the administrations had demonstrated some levels of success and honesty many communities would be more accepting. Now they feel they are being dumped on. Probably because they are

  5. - Larry Bowa Jr. - Friday, Oct 20, 23 @ 1:58 pm:

    “If our establishment media lacks modern-day media literacy we are in deeper than we realize.”

    I don’t think that what you are describing is a media literacy problem. That would imply a lack of intent.

  6. - Frida's boss - Friday, Oct 20, 23 @ 2:32 pm:

    What happened yesterday to the alderman was ridiculous and for her, I’m sure pretty scary.
    This is due to the administration not being upfront with people. They are a hot mess. They are lacking in situational awareness and it’s causing more problems on top of what they’ve already got.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Isabel’s afternoon roundup
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