Chicago is pushing to house migrants in the old Kmart building despite protests from residents over migrant shelters
The city of Chicago’s efforts to house migrants at a vacant Southwest Side Kmart was temporarily halted as South Side residents grew concerned that the city was focusing on illegal immigrants rather than the city’s own residents.
The 96,000-square-foot Kmart property in the West Lawn neighborhood was scheduled to open in February but was delayed because the community demanded more transparency from Chicago City Council.
“I have serious questions and concerns about the safety and humanity of the proposed Kmart facility and its amenities,” State Rep. Angie Guerrero-Cuellar told the Chicago Sun-Times. “I have asked the state authorities to put this project on hold until they can ensure that this facility is converted into decent housing for young migrant families.”
“I am very concerned for the safety of the local community and the people who are being housed at this location,” said a resident at the outlet.
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It is currently unknown when the building will open to the migrants.
The city recently received backlash from residents after it opened the former James Wadsworth Elementary School near Chicago’s Woodlawn neighborhood as temporary housing for migrants. The building opened in early February, despite opposition from city residents who “were ready to be arrested” in protest at the project.
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Neighborhood residents stood in front of the buses filled with migrants and urged the city to allocate resources to locals, not migrants.
“The community doesn’t feel respected, they feel left out, and they need answers today,” resident Jennifer Maddox told Fox 32.
Another resident called out Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who is up for re-election in February. “There is a lack of resources in our community, we don’t need someone to come in and suck them up. We’re tired, Ms. Lightfoot,” she said.
“The city has not been transparent with residents – us – and we will not be transparent with them,” Andre Smith told the Chicago Sun-Times when he protested. “They didn’t work with us, so we don’t work with them. We’re not moving; we are ready to be arrested.”
Chicago police officers were at the scene when three buses carrying migrants were dropped off at the school.
As of October 2022, about 3,667 illegal migrants have been brought from Texas to the Democrat-run city, while thousands continue to enter the United States under President Joe Biden’s open borders policy.
Chicago Gov. JB Pritzker, D-Ill., signed a disaster declaration in October to secure resources for the migrants being bused into the state.
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The mayor’s office did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
Fox News’ Sarah Rumpf contributed to this report.
https://www.foxnews.com/politics/chicago-pushes-house-migrants-kmart-building-despite-protests-residents-migrant-shelters Chicago is pushing to house migrants in the old Kmart building despite protests from residents over migrant shelters