‘A slap in the face’: Chicago migrant housing plan sparks outrage from South Shore residents

Chicago’s South Shore residents are enraged in response to a plan from Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office that would convert the shuttered South Shore High School into a temporary housing facility for illegal migrants.

“It is a slap in the face that we as citizens of the United States of America do not have the resources and support but you’re gonna bring people who are not citizens here in our community in our buildings that we pay taxes for that you took away from us?” said Natasha Dunn, one of many residents who turned up for a community meeting about the proposal at South Shore International College Prep on Thursday. “That is completely unacceptable. We are in a humanitarian crisis right now. The black people in Chicago are bleeding on the streets!”

(Video: YouTube)

As BizPac Review reported, Lightfoot closed out the month of April with a letter to Texas Governor Greg Abbott, begging him to stop bussing migrants to the Windy City.

Though Chicago is a proud “sanctuary city,” Lightfoot called Abbott’s practice of sending migrants to her town “inhumane.”

“The City of Chicago is aware that the State of Texas is planning to resume bussing individuals and families to cities throughout the United States, including Chicago, starting Monday, May 1st,” she wrote. “I am, yet again, appealing to your better nature and asking that you stop this inhumane and dangerous action.”

Lightfoot noted that, since August 2022, Chicago has “shouldered the responsibility of caring for more than 8,000 men, women, and children with no resources of their own,” thanks to Abbott’s relocation policies.

The city was so unprepared to handle the results of President Biden’s open border, migrants have been sleeping on the floors of the police station.

(Video: YouTube)

Still, South Shore residents say the resources being spent to accommodate illegal immigrants should go to help their struggling community.

“We don’t want them in this building. You can house the migrants on the North Side — try Lincoln Park,” Dunn said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “They’ve got so many developments over there. People aren’t even living in those tall buildings. They have access to resources. On their main streets they have jobs. We have no jobs in our community, and we have been fighting for jobs for decades. So please tell me how is this fair?”

Under the proposed plan, the school would be used to house 250 to 500 immigrants while a more permanent location is being readied.

City representatives assured the angry crowd that the closed school wouldn’t be a shelter, it would simply, temporarily offer hundreds of migrants a place to sleep, eat, and take a shower, Fox 32 reports.

Residents weren’t buying it. Shouts of “We don’t care!” and “We don’t want them here!” drowned out the scheduled speakers, the Sun-Times states. Others were yelling, “Send them back!” and “Close the Border!”

The Sun-Times continues:

Someone in the crowd held up a sign that read, “Build the wall 2024.”

Those in the audience who wanted to hear the city’s plan implored the crowd to settle down and be respectful. At one point, a person was taken into custody by police and then quickly released after tearing up the “build the wall” sign and getting into an altercation with the person who brought it.


South Shore resident Rosita Chatonda said the community should benefit from the empty building. Previous mayors and community leaders had in the past discussed turning the school into an art school for children, a hydroponic grower, or an incubator for entrepreneurs. Chatonda believes the city should allow the community to use the high school space for something that would improve the lives of local youths.

“We have the right to have access to this building as it was promised, as a community hub,” she said. “This is why children out here are struggling with violence, because they have no support. We cannot give this building up. We empathize with those who’ve come here, but we have to look out for ourselves.”

But Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson, like Lightfoot, seems more concerned with making the migrants comfortable.

“We have a responsibility to make sure that families that are seeking love and support in Chicago and in Illinois,” he said, “that they are not just welcome but serviced.”


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