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Bus arrivals trending upward again

Monday, Nov 27, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* According to the city’s Friday briefing, 25 migrant buses arrived in Chicago last week. That’s more than the 18 buses which arrived during the prior week and about ten or so more than the average during the previous few weeks.

New arrivals currently in shelters are up from 12,073 on November 17 to 12,482 this past Friday. But the number of new arrivals in staging areas like police stations is down from 2,218 total on Nov. 17 to 1,513 - a very significant 32 percent drop. I’m also hearing lots of progress was made over the weekend as well.

Total exits from the shelter system have increased from 8,280 as of Nov. 17 to 8,908 last Friday, an increase of 628, which is significantly above the recent average.

* Tribune

Keinymar Avila, a tiny 7-year-old with microcephaly who has never been separated from her mother, curled up in the arms of a woman she’d recently met.

Her mother, Yamile Perez, glanced over at her daughter to make sure all was well as she attended a virtual meeting with Chicago Public Schools officials who were evaluating Keinymar’s needs. It is not easy to let someone else hold your child, especially if your child requires special medical care.

No one knows this better than the person cradling the girl, Mary Otts-Rubenstein, a Lakeview resident who has her own child with disabilities. Otts-Rubenstein has taken it upon herself to help over a dozen migrant families with medically complex kids enroll in CPS.

* Meanwhile

Crews will begin constructing winter tents meant to house up to 1,500 migrants in Brighton Park on Monday, the local alderperson says.

The city is moving forward with the camp at 38th Street and California Avenue despite not sharing a study that shows the former industrial site needs to be cleaned of toxic metals, Ald. Julia Ramirez (12th) said in a letter released Saturday night.

Contractor GardaWorld is expected to begin the final phase of construction Monday, Ramirez said in the letter, while distancing herself from Mayor Brandon Johnson’s choice to continue with the project. […]

On Sunday, the mayor’s office said that “the city is confident that the property will be suited for the purpose for which it will be used. Additional details regarding environmental information will be provided this week.”


City officials have said it will take them three days to erect the base camp, which will have separate tents for sleeping, case management services, dining, showers and bathroom facilities. The base camp will open to house 500 people and expand to as many as 2,000 people, officials said


Mayor’s Office Spokesperson Ronnie Reese said late Sunday that construction on the site will not begin Monday despite a Saturday letter from 12th Ward Alderwoman Julia Ramirez saying it would.


…Adding… The mayor needs a comms staff, Part 4,217…

* Unclear on the concept

A South Side alderman’s claims that warming centers in his ward will be used as migrant shelters is not true, Mayor Brandon Johnson’s office said.

Ald. David Moore (17th) released a letter Tuesday addressed to Johnson saying public spaces in his ward will soon become warming centers used to house migrants. The letter circulated on social media, angering South Side residents.

But it’s not true, Johnson’s office said Friday.

“Warming centers are not, nor have they ever, been considered for shelters for asylum seekers in the 17th Ward,” Johnson press secretary Ronnie Reese said in an email.

Those facilities have been used as warming shelters for homeless folks and poor people for years and years. Ald. Moore is just feeding the hate.

* I’m pretty sure the governor’s disaster declaration (which isn’t mentioned in ABC 7’s story) overrides this case, but we’ll have to wait for the judge’s ruling. As we all saw during the pandemic, judges can go off-script

Two South Shore residents will appear in front of a judge after filing a lawsuit against the city of Chicago and how officials are housing incoming migrants.

The lawsuit seeks an injunction against the city. The plaintiffs want to stop the city from housing migrants in public schools, parks and police stations and even those so-called tent camps.

The legal action could prevent the mayor from disrupting park programs, violating zoning laws and he would have to disclose fully how much money is being spent on supporting incoming migrants. That case goes before a judge Monday morning.

* More…

    Block Club Chicago | As Chicago’s Shelter Rule For Migrant Families Takes Effect, Here Are Three Student Rights To Know: Homeless children have certain rights aimed at maintaining stability for them at school, including the ability to stay at the school they’ve been attending.

    * Tribune | Half full: Migrants struggle to eat in Chicago: Migrants say that, unlike in their home country, there’s a lot of food in grocery stores in Chicago, and they’re grateful for the city’s aid. But the food distribution at police stations is uncoordinated, the meals at city shelters are substandard and often not to their liking, and they have to follow strict rules about what outside food they can bring inside.

    * NBC News | Chicago scrambles to house migrants as winter approaches: But Matt DeMateo, the chief executive officer of New Life Centers of Chicagoland, a nonprofit that works with the state on resettlement, said that while the reduction to three months of rental assistance may provide a challenge in finding housing, it could ultimately allow more migrants to benefit from the program. DeMateo believes another aspect of the state’s plan — submitting 11,000 applications for work authorization and temporary protected status by February — also will improve the migrant crisis. “Once that opens up, people can get on a stable path,” he said. “With all of those investments, the idea is how do we better the whole system, so we can get through this and get past these bottlenecks.”

    * Tribune | Pritzker administration sought migrant tent camp proposals before Mayor Brandon Johnson took office, records show: But in response to questions from the Tribune, the governor’s office acknowledged last week that the inclusion of tent-like structures in the May bid solicitation was “a collaborative effort” between IEMA and the Illinois Department of Human Services “as they prepared for every possible outcome.” The possibility of housing migrants in tents rather than buildings had “always been on the table” in conversations with City Hall — under both Johnson and the prior administration of Mayor Lori Lightfoot — “given the few practical options to house mass amounts of people on an emergency basis and the space limitations on indoor sites,” Pritzker spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh said in an email. “The governor’s concern with soft shelter sites at that time they were announced was because cold weather was just a few months away and the preference has always been to house people in brick-and-mortar shelter sites,” Abudayyeh said. “But as we move closer and closer to winter, people are still sleeping outside police stations in regular tents with no resources so soft shelter sites provide better accommodations, and more importantly, allow asylum-seekers access to caseworkers and a path to independence.”


  1. - Chicago Voter - Monday, Nov 27, 23 @ 10:57 am:

    Civic Consulting Alliance provided plans for the CPS Welcome Center in April 2023 which then Brandon Johnson’s administration took credit for. The CPS Welcome Center is not performing as a powerhouse of CPS enrollment and CPS is under-serving asylum seeking children with disabilities, as the Tribune reports.

    The Civic Consulting Alliance also produced plans for the basecamps and tents or so they claim in their annual report and CCA was claiming credit for their work way back in June 2023. Maybe they deserve a look at why they have such outsized importance on this topic?

    The EPA has been asked to provide environmental oversight to the land on 38th and California and it is beyond disrespectful that the Johnson Administration has not released environmental testing results.

  2. - Ron - In Texas - Monday, Nov 27, 23 @ 11:06 am:

    It’s not going to stop.

    Hate to say it, but the busses are just going to keep coming. heck CBP in el paso section shutdown almost everything but processing legal crossings and processing those they captured over the last week.

    Heck without any big carvans or surges they release 1200+ a day in the el paso sector alone.

    8-9k a week. in one sector. 25-30K a month.

    We cant feed, house, educate, provide health care with 30K+ a month coming in. Chicago, NYC, Cali Cities… thanks for helping us out.

    Americans and people in every state are tight on spending and they are starting to see this border crossing stuff is no joke.

  3. - Rich Miller - Monday, Nov 27, 23 @ 11:08 am:

    ===Hate to say it===

    Sure you do.

  4. - Let Old Friends Go - Monday, Nov 27, 23 @ 11:13 am:

    Ronnie Reese had his shot at running press and comms. It is time the mayor and Rich G get someone with experience in to fix this mess of a comms shop.

  5. - Demoralized - Monday, Nov 27, 23 @ 11:36 am:

    ==thanks for helping us out==

    If the Governor of Texas truly cared about the migrants and not on political theater he would be bussing these people to various states. He doesn’t care, though. It’s all political to him.

  6. - Mister Ed - Monday, Nov 27, 23 @ 11:58 am:

    How is Texas and Catholic Charities busing immigrants out of various areas? Isn’t this like human trafficking? I wonder how many people realize their tax dollars (millions) may have been used to bus immigrants throughout the USA. We all immigrated from somewhere, but the sad part is these poor immigrants get the dangerous jobs no one wants. Winter for these poor folks is going to be very hard. There are no easy answers but for God’s sake . . .they are human beings.

  7. - DuPage - Monday, Nov 27, 23 @ 12:12 pm:

    @Demoralized ===he would be bussing these people to various states.===

    He is sending them to places that declared themselves “welcoming”, “sanctuary” cities and states.

  8. - Ron - In Texas - Monday, Nov 27, 23 @ 12:16 pm:


    Oh, I never said he cared. You put that in. What we have is a problem at the border that since texas is red is ignored by the current admin and their supporters.

    Texans are told they are racist when they talk about this (Texans like my wife who is 50% mexican).

    Now you get to see that this is a huge problem and the idea of “anyone that comes we have to handle” you get to be part of.

  9. - Nagidam - Monday, Nov 27, 23 @ 12:30 pm:

    ===If the Governor of Texas truly cared about the migrants and not on political theater he would be bussing these people to various states. He doesn’t care, though. It’s all political to him.===

    What should he do? Seriously. The Federal Government has basically abandoned the issue. Is this political theater? Of course, it is. Should the Governor of Texas along with the residents continue to pay for all these immigrants on their own? What did Illinois or other states do to help the situation? Did they send money? Did they try to force a true Federal Immigration policy? No, they declared their state a sanctuary State and the Governor of Texas took them up on their word. This issue has had political theater on both sides of the equation.

  10. - Nagidam - Monday, Nov 27, 23 @ 12:34 pm:

    Seems the only adult in the room is the Governor of Illinois. The Feds are in gridlock and the Mayor of Chicago hasn’t found where the bathroom is at city hall. Policies need to be put in place to actually help these folks coming to our country. How do we service their overall needs in a timely manner. The money can follow.

  11. - Demoralized - Monday, Nov 27, 23 @ 12:44 pm:

    It disgusts me how some of you are perfectly fine with treating fellow human beings like political pawns.

    ==Texans like my wife who is 50% mexican==

    Lol. I know a Mexican so I can’t possibly be a hatemonger towards these migrants.

  12. - Demoralized - Monday, Nov 27, 23 @ 12:46 pm:

    ==He is sending them to places ==

    As I said, he doesn’t care. And apparently neither do you.

  13. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Monday, Nov 27, 23 @ 12:47 pm:

    It seems like Ronnie is doing a great job of convincing the press corps that things are a Ronnie problem and not a Johnson administration problem.

  14. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Nov 27, 23 @ 12:58 pm:

    ===If the Governor of Texas truly cared about the migrants and not on political theater he would be bussing these people to various states.===

    While I agree with the sentiment regarding Gov. Abbott, this is a federal concern. Immigrants and moving people between states. This has been going on long enough that the President (45 and now Biden) and Congress should be taking care of this issue. There should be more welcome & processing centers along the border and a coordinated plan to move the migrants into permanent shelters and jobs (etc.) around the country. Gov Abbott has been in charge by default.

    ===He is sending them to places that declared themselves “welcoming”, “sanctuary” cities and states. ===

    The irony is that Abbott and other “red” state folks claim to be following Christian principles in their governance. If that were true, they would be welcoming the folks at their door and providing food, shelter, clothing, and other support as Jesus clearly directed them to do. (cite: Mt 25: 31-46; Lk 10: 25-37)

  15. - Demoralized - Monday, Nov 27, 23 @ 1:02 pm:

    @Pot Calling Kettle

    I couldn’t agree more re: the failure of the feds.

  16. - It's always Sunny in Illinois - Monday, Nov 27, 23 @ 1:06 pm:

    It’s not just the Governor of Texas, the Federal Government has been, and still is Busing and Flying the migrants all over the country since early on in the Biden administration

  17. - Demoralized - Monday, Nov 27, 23 @ 1:08 pm:

    Can you imagine the paralyzing indecision that would have occurred had Johnson been Mayor during Covid? He seems incapable of handling anything.

  18. - Let Old Friends Go - Monday, Nov 27, 23 @ 1:12 pm:

    === It seems like Ronnie is doing a great job of convincing the press corps that things are a Ronnie problem===

    The mayor is standing by Ronnie. He had no problem asking his floor leader slash zone chair to step down. He clearly understands that personnel is policy.

  19. - Give Us Barabbas - Monday, Nov 27, 23 @ 1:17 pm:

    That lawsuit will likely be tossed for lack of standing, I am figuring. But there will be more following it. Instead of tents, can’t we get FEMA trailers?

  20. - Ron - In Texas - Monday, Nov 27, 23 @ 1:27 pm:


    we can do the convo in spanish if you want… dont start that with me, because you just made it personal. You have no idea.
    I have mexican-american children… say something else about me and how “I know a Mexican”. Or is the the only argument you have.

  21. - Tim - Monday, Nov 27, 23 @ 1:38 pm:

    === He is sending them to places that declared themselves “welcoming”, “sanctuary” cities and states. ===

    “Sanctuary” does not mean what Abbott and others thinks it means. But I think we’ve already been through this.

  22. - low level - Monday, Nov 27, 23 @ 1:45 pm:

    This is all completely contrary to the Bible that Gov Abbott claims to read. Phony Christians.

  23. - 17% Solution - Monday, Nov 27, 23 @ 1:47 pm:

    === I have mexican-american children===
    That’s beautiful. The migrants aren’t Mexican and they aren’t your children.

  24. - 17% Solution - Monday, Nov 27, 23 @ 1:51 pm:

    === Did they try to force a true Federal Immigration policy?===
    How do states make US Congress make federal immigration policy?

  25. - Ron - In Texas - Monday, Nov 27, 23 @ 2:26 pm:

    “That’s beautiful. The migrants aren’t Mexican and they aren’t your children.”

    uh… not all are mexican but a majority are and it was said in response to someone who commented about how I had a mexican friend (not a wife) and there fore couldnt be racist…

    Thanks for playing.

  26. - Rich Miller - Monday, Nov 27, 23 @ 2:29 pm:

    === not all are mexican but a majority are===

    Click the link, for crying out loud. *14* are Mexican out of 24,000+

  27. - Ron - In Texas - Monday, Nov 27, 23 @ 2:51 pm:

    sorry, yes arrivals is low on Mexican nationals. High on central and south America. Those arent border stats, but arrival in chicago. true.

    Numbers are different across the border.

  28. - Excitable Boy - Monday, Nov 27, 23 @ 2:58 pm:

    - Numbers are different across the border. -

    Wait, you mean a majority of the people in Mexico are Mexican? That’s astounding.

  29. - From DaZoo - Monday, Nov 27, 23 @ 3:49 pm:

    Seems City of Chicago, Gov Abbott, and Texas Catholic Charities have something in common… a need to improve their communications staff.

  30. - Demoralized - Monday, Nov 27, 23 @ 4:49 pm:

    ==say something else about me ==


  31. - Ron - In Texas - Monday, Nov 27, 23 @ 5:42 pm:

    @demo… yup. Insult me but don’t respond. Why internet comments from folks like you mean little. You insult when you can’t respond to facts.

  32. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 27, 23 @ 5:48 pm:

    === Why internet comments from folks like you mean little. You insult when you can’t respond to facts.===


    === Click the link, for crying out loud. *14* are Mexican out of 24,000+===

    Go and sit down. You’re out of your depths if you wanna talk about facts, and yet…

  33. - Demoralized - Monday, Nov 27, 23 @ 5:59 pm:

    I’ve stated clearly what I thought about how Texas is dealing with this and what I said it’s all politics from the Governor of Texas in the way he’s handled this. I’ve also stated that the feds have fallen down on the job. If you want to act all big and manly and puff out your chest because I’ve offended you then go ahead. Doesn’t bother me in the slightest. Apparently you get your feelings hurt easily. I couldn’t care less

  34. - Pundent - Monday, Nov 27, 23 @ 6:07 pm:

    =You insult when you can’t respond to facts.=

    Like calling 14 Mexicans out of 24,000 crossings a majority? You’re hardly one to chastise others on facts. Maybe take a nap and go back to Facebook.

  35. - Excitable Boy - Monday, Nov 27, 23 @ 6:38 pm:

    - Why internet comments from folks like you mean little -

    As opposed to the deep meaningful comments you have to offer? Go have some warm milk and tuck in early, tough guy.

  36. - Scott Cross for President - Monday, Nov 27, 23 @ 8:13 pm:

    The ChiTrib has been doing some amazing reporting on the lives of asylum seekers and migrants in Chicago. Telling complicated, human stories. I learn something every time.

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