Chicago Mayor says migrant shelter eviction is ‘a pathway to stability and self-sufficiency’

Chicago has started enforcing a previously delayed plan that is now evicting migrants from the city’s shelters this week.

Mayor Brandon Johnson’s administration’s intention for the policy is to “decompress” the city’s shelter population.

Johnson also told NBC, “By encouraging resettlement while also providing case-specific extensions with a focus on health and safety, we are advancing a pathway to stability and self-sufficiency.”

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As the migrant crisis continues and crime surges in the windy city, Mayor Johnson enacts the 60-day shelter eviction policy for migrants. (Getty Images / AP)

The new policy will place a 60-day shelter stay limit on those remaining migrants. After eviction, they must find alternative housing or re-apply to another shelter.

Earlier this week, the windy city reported that of the 37,308 migrants that have arrived since 2022 – 11,253 migrants remain across 23 city and state shelters.

According to NBC, city officials said, “Those exiting have the option to return to the Landing Zone and be reprocessed and placed in shelter once again if appropriate beds are available or opt for onward movement.”

The report also found less than 10 migrants were successfully evicted within the first 48 hours of the policy’s enforcement.

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Recently arrived migrants in a makeshift shelter operated by the city of Chicago at O’Hare International Airport on Aug. 31, 2023. (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images) ((Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images))

Cristina Pacione-Zayas, Johnson’s deputy chief of staff, added, “These are some of our more expensive shelters to operate, and what we’re trying to do is optimize the resources that we have to be able to carry through.”

Despite the attempt made by Johnson’s administration to mitigate the ongoing migrant crisis overtaking their city’s resources, thousands of migrants were granted extensions from eviction.

While Chicago predicted nearly three dozen people would be removed by Sunday, by nightfall 31 migrants were granted exemption-based extensions citing public benefits enrollment, pregnancy, child care, medical care, and quarantine as reasons for postponement.

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View of a migrant shelter in Chicago after the city announced assistance plans for the next coming months as colder weather sets in.  (Fox 32 Chicago)

The windy city has previously postponed the eviction policy three times due to cold weather, staffing issues and public outcry from activists and local politicians, but Chicago officials state that 2,026 people will be removed from shelters by the end of next month.

Although the city just enacted the policy as their migrant crisis cost near $300 million, the City Council’s Progressive Reform Caucus has already released a statement as they plan to fight against shelter evictions.

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CBS reported that the statement read, “The Progressive Caucus disagrees strongly with the strategy, as it risks contributing to the city’s unhoused population and exacerbating social and racial tension at a time when we need to unite. As progressives, we believe it is critical for all levels of government to recognize and combat the root causes that contribute to so many of society’s ills. Rather than addressing root causes, however, we fear that the City’s 60-day shelter eviction policy is worsening them. To address this crisis collaboratively and compassionately, we must do it together.”

Alba Cuebas-Fantauzzi is a freelance production assistant at Fox News Digital.

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