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News outlet debunks Downstate migrant rumor

Friday, Feb 9, 2024 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Muddy River News editor David Adam debunks a social media rumor

Dear MRN,

Do you happen to know if there is any truth to (Illinois Governor JB) Pritzker sending buses to Quincy with migrants? Supposedly they are going in ShopKo.

Have you heard the rumor that the old ShopKo building is being retrofitted to bring in illegals from other countries to live/house/etc.? Please investigate. We absolutely don’t want this in western Illinois.

The number of similar questions about the same topic received by the staff at Muddy River News is easily in double digits.

RLP Development Company, Inc., a real estate development firm in Edwardsville, bought the former ShopKo property at 3200 Broadway for $1.8 million. Documents filed in the Adams County Recorder of Deeds office show the sale was finalized Dec. 16, 2021. RLP Development Company, Inc., in Edwardsville was listed as the buyer, while 3200 Quincy Holdings LLC from Brooklyn, N.Y., was listed as the seller. […]

When Ryan Darr, another project manager for RLP Development, was asked if the property eventually would be used to house migrants from Chicago, he laughed.

“Absolutely not,” he said.

Click here for one social media example. And, whew, this comment…

Sure would be a shame if that building happened to catch fire

* Moving on to the Tribune

[O’Hare] airport — for months home to hundreds of migrants who have camped out there while awaiting beds in the city-run shelter system — currently only has four migrants waiting there as of this morning, according to city data. The tentative relief comes after Chicago police stations, which at one point saw more than 3,300 asylum-seekers sleeping on floors, were also cleared of encampments in December.

Johnson’s deputy chief of staff Cristina Pacione-Zayas noted to reporters the progress coincided with accelerated efforts to resettle migrants in permanent housing or in other cities. But she acknowledged hard choices lie ahead for the city as the $150 million Johnson budgeted for the migrant response this year is slated to be spent by April.

“Every day we’re in meetings, on calls with the state, with the county, to figure out what the long-term plan is to get through the calendar year together,” Pacione-Zayas said.

She did not say whether closing shelters or making budget cuts midyear was on the table.

The other option is going back to the city council and asking for a supplemental appropriation since the city deliberately underfunded the spending lines.

Also, if you click here you’ll see that, as of this morning, no migrants were at O’Hare.

As far as I can tell, the Tribune is the only major Chicago news media outlet to publish a story about how O’Hare has been emptied out. Click here to learn more, including that the shelter population has dropped by more than 11 percent since the end of December.

* Speaking of airports

Lawmakers’ questions about the safety of Boeing’s airplanes had to compete Tuesday with GOP complaints about airports that house migrants.

Republicans have groused for months about unhoused migrants being kept in a shuttle bus facility at Chicago O’Hare International Airport and have prodded the Federal Aviation Administration to use its power to force airports to stop the practice before it spreads. They have argued that FAA approval is required before airport facilities can be used for things unrelated to aviation, while the agency has insisted that it doesn’t have total control over how airports use their ground space. […]

In response to questions from Rep. Jake Auchincloss (D-Mass.) — who tried to clear up the FAA’s role — [FAA Administrator Michael Whitaker] affirmed that the agency only has oversight of air operations, not necessarily what ground facilities are used for.

Last month, GOP members of the Senate Commerce Committee, including top committee Republican Ted Cruz of Texas, sent a letter to Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson asking whether resources at O’Hare are being diverted to house migrants.

* On to another topic

More than 5,700 newly arrived immigrant students have enrolled in Chicago Public Schools since the beginning of the school year, district officials said Thursday.

Preliminary school enrollment data updated daily on the city data portal and analyzed by Chalkbeat shows overall enrollment increased by 4,500 students since the official count on the 20th day of school in September. After more than a decade of decline, CPS saw its enrollment stabilize this school year.

“The number is fluid and evolving,” CPS CEO Pedro Martinez said Thursday. “Our principals and teachers and school communities have been incredibly welcoming to the students and their families.”

* More from Isabel…

    * Block Club | ‘Everyday Chicagoans’ Can Help Migrants Through New Volunteer Program: City leaders announced the New Neighbors Campaign on Thursday, saying it is collaborating with ChicagoCares and the Chicago Refugee Coalition to streamline and standardize volunteer opportunities to help migrants. The campaign’s first phase started last week, which included volunteers helping with things like the City Clerk’s Office’s city key events, the Resurrection Project’s temporary protected status workshops and New Life Centers’ donation work, said Rey Wences Najera, first deputy of immigrant, migrant and refugee rights.

    * WGN | New city initiative to streamline resources to better handle migrant crisis: Interested organizations that would like to be a part of the New Neighbors campaign should reach out to the Office of Immigrant, Migrant, and Refugee Rights to be put in contact with Chicago Cares for additional support and for volunteer opportunities.

    * Shaw Local | La Salle County approves non-sanctuary status to deter potential migrant influx: Chicago city leaders, however, have since imposed penalties of their own on unscheduled bus drop-offs, saying the abrupt nature of the drop-offs doesn’t allow the city to adequately prepare to house those in need. As a result of these new rules in Chicago, a number of buses have left migrants in the Chicago suburbs. So far, no buses have arrived in La Salle County.


  1. - Macon Bakin - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 12:23 pm:

    Dwight must be very upset about the no informal electric highway signs regulation incoming.

  2. - Da big bad wolf - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 12:24 pm:

    === Sure would be a shame if that building happened to catch fire.===

    Sure would be a shame if heaven and hell actually do exist.

  3. - TNR - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 12:40 pm:

    == Supposedly they are going in ShopKo. ==

    Every Chicago alderman with a vacant CVS or Walgreens in the ward has had to swat down multiple rumors like this. I imagine quite a few suburban mayors have had to do the same.

  4. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 12:46 pm:

    –Have you heard the rumor that[…]–

    A - piles of bricks are being left in random locations for planned riots.

    B - playing records backwards reveals secret satanic messages.

    C - If you close your eyes in the dark in front of a mirror you can summon bloody mary by repeating her name 3 times.

    D - Billy tried to kiss Suzie next to the swingset during recess.

    oops on that last one, sometimes I forget we are actually talking about things adults are saying.

  5. - Flyin'Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 12:52 pm:

    I’ll answer for a lot on judgement day.

    A lot.

    Wishing death on someone, especially due to their race won’t be one of them.

  6. - Demoralized - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 12:53 pm:

    ==Sure would be a shame if that building happened to catch fire==

    I would love for the cops to go knocking on doors of scum like this. This is why I refuse to associate myself with any of these sorts of people anymore. I’ve had a few “friends” who act and talk like this and I don’t speak to them anymore.

  7. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 1:02 pm:

    ===playing records backwards reveals secret satanic messages===

    Also, Paul is dead.

  8. - Route 50 Corridor - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 1:19 pm:

    Interesting those rumors are coming out of two congressional districts, they are rampant in my part of the state as well. I received numerous calls this week about bus loads being dropped off at such and such hotel, all unfounded and untrue. Surely Mary Miller, no relation to Rich, and Border Bailey wouldn’t have anything to do with it. And their buddy Wilhour. He’s spent more time in Texas than our town in his district.

  9. - H-W - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 1:27 pm:

    Not surprised about the Quincy, Home of the Tea Party, having a few bigots.

    There are few good people there as well. But did I mention, Home of the Tea Party Movement?

  10. - West Side the Best Side - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 2:28 pm:

    Good on the Muddy River News for debunking the rumor, polite language for calling out the bull….

  11. - Dotnonymous x - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 2:30 pm:

    Everything I know, I got from listening to records backwards…the latest message?…The Republican Party is dead.

  12. - SOIL M - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 2:36 pm:

    More reasons why I don’t do Social Media, and think many people would be a lot happier if they spent more time on things that are actually productive.

  13. - Dotnonymous x - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 3:50 pm:

    We are witnessing the death of objective truth…when the truth can no longer be (commonly) ascertained, rumors can become deadly weapons.

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