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Staging area population drops, but migrants keep coming

Monday, Nov 20, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* From the city’s latest Friday update, here are the number of new arrivals at staging areas

1,640 in police districts
575 at O’Hare
3 at Midway
2,218 total

That’s a 12 percent decrease from the previous Friday’s 2,529, a 31 percent decrease from Nov. 3rd (3,228), and a 40 percent decrease from October 20th (3,684).

The number of minors in staging areas has dropped from 886 on October 20th to 414 last Friday.

* But they’re still coming. 18 buses arrived last week, a slight uptick from previous weeks, which have mostly been around 15. Total new arrivals last week were 2,246. That number was derived from comparing the total headcount of new arrivals to date as reported Friday (23,000) to the total to-date reported the previous week (20,754). Total exits from the sheltering system last week were 321, which ain’t great, considering the new entrants. So far, 8,280 have exited the system, up from 6,523 as of October 20th.

* 12,073 people were in shelters on Friday, up from 11,278 on October 20th.

Of those folks in shelters, 23 percent were single men, 4 percent were single women, and 73 percent, 8,787 people, were members of 2,446 family units.

* In related news, Fox 32 quoted a “community activist” who wants to shut down an encampment on the South Side

Meanwhile, community activist Patrick Gibbons, says he is turning up the heat.

“What we want to do is we want to file an injunction against the City of Chicago,” said Gibbons.

Gibbons says he hopes to take legal action by Thanksgiving.

“By Thanksgiving.” How sweet.

As we’ve discussed before, this particular “community activist” lives nowhere near the South Side. CBS 2 recently included some context

“Carlos Ramirez-Rosa is a punk,” said Patrick Gibbons, who billed himself as a community activist, but also ran this year as a write-in candidate for alderman in the 31st Ward, and recently dropped a bid to run for 31st Ward Republican committeeman.

The 31st Ward is on the city’s Northwest Side.

Also, this from Fox 32

Some people who worked on Paul Vallas’s failed campaign for Chicago mayor say they have still not been paid. […]

“Paul, stop playing basketball with your checks and pay these workers who’ve been at your side day after day making you look good,” said community activist Patrick Gibbons. “This is not good.”

Gibbons appears to be a go-to guy for Fox 32

“Downtown used to be a beautiful place, you used to want to take a walk downtown, but now it’s so scary,” activist and U.S. Postal Service worker Patrick Gibbons said. “It needs to get better, otherwise people will leave Chicago.”

No mention of his work for Vallas in that piece.

* Isabel’s coverage roundup…

    * CBS Chicago | Chicago’s new shelter stay limit for migrants worries volunteers: Volunteers also worry the 60-day shelter policy won’t give migrants enough time to apply for and receive work permits. Even with help from the federal government to expedite the process, work permits could take 90 days or more.

    * Block Club | What Does The City’s New 60-Day Shelter Limit Mean For Migrants In Chicago?: If migrants are still living in city shelters after the 60 days run out, they will have to return to the city’s “landing zone” — the area near Downtown where most buses carrying migrants drop them off — to make a new shelter request. Extensions to stay in a shelter beyond 60 days will only be granted in “extenuating circumstances” like a medical emergency or severe weather, officials said.

    * Daily Herald | New Rosemont hotel tax aimed at preventing long-term migrant stays: Rosemont is tacking on a $1,000 tax on hotel stays 30 days and longer in an attempt to prevent housing migrants and protect its convention business, officials say. The new tax comes in response to chatter village officials say they’ve heard in the hospitality industry about suburban hotels being eyed to shelter migrants. Mayor Brad Stephens cited a Nov. 3 story in Crain’s Chicago Business about Chicago developer Mike Reschke’s efforts to get six to eight suburban hotels to host thousands of new arrivals. “We’re just trying to preserve the convention business,” said Stephens, whose father Donald’s name graces the front of the 48-year-old, municipal-run convention center. “Could you imagine that if three of our hotels committed 100 rooms for five years, what does that do to the convention business? … Then the convention organizers are gonna say, ‘Well, wait a minute. How come you don’t have hotel rooms? You boast that you have 6,000 hotel rooms — you don’t have enough for our group.’” … Stephens, who also is the Republican state representative for the area, said he is “nowhere near anti-migrant.” He says he supports efforts to employ people who have come here. He added, he’s not aware of any migrants staying in Rosemont’s 20 hotels right now.

    * Tribune Editorial Board | Faced with a growing migrant crisis in Chicago, Gov. J.B. Pritzker rides to the city’s rescue: It became very clear this week that, when it came to the migrant crisis, Pritkzer had lost confidence in City Hall’s competency to handle a growing emergency with dangerous implications.

    * Crain’s Editorial Board | Pritzker steps in to clean up Chicago’s asylum-seeker mess: The $160 million in state money will be provided in three lump sums: $30 million to create a just-announced “large intake and welcome center” at an undisclosed location, $65 million to help Chicago establish a tent base camp to provide shelter for up to 2,000 people at a time and another $65 million to help coordinate the resettlement of migrants, including rental assistance.

    * NBC Chicago | Illinois earmarks $160 million to keep migrants warm in Chicago as winter approaches: Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Thursday that Illinois will funnel an additional $160 million to help migrants arriving in Chicago to resettle, including $65 million to help the city launch “winterized” temporary shelter to avoid people sleeping outdoors in cold weather. The announcement came on an unseasonably warm Chicago day in the 60s, but with a forecast for temperatures to dip as low as 17 degrees Fahrenheit (-8 degrees Celsius) next week.


  1. - The Truth - Monday, Nov 20, 23 @ 11:29 am:

    Patrick Gibbons is The Onion’s “Area Man”.

  2. - Big Dipper - Monday, Nov 20, 23 @ 11:36 am:

    Gibbons sounds like he is aptly named.

  3. - Big Dipper - Monday, Nov 20, 23 @ 11:48 am:

    Interesting that Gibbons is a postal employee because navigating The Hatch Act can be tricky for someone so politically active.

  4. - Anyone Remember - Monday, Nov 20, 23 @ 12:46 pm:

    “Fox 32 quoted a “community activist” … .”
    This why I try not to consume any news from anything “Fox” … be it national or local.

    “… navigating The Hatch Act can be tricky for someone so politically active.”
    Not if the political activity is “non-partisan” … . In states with non-partisan local government, the Hatch Act isn’t much of an issue.

  5. - Big Dipper - Monday, Nov 20, 23 @ 5:38 pm:

    Yeah but sometimes nonpartisan can be deemed partisan.

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