Chicago Officials Begin Migrant Evictions from Shelters

By: Ashmar Mandou

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local NewsLast weekend, the City of Chicago began evicting migrants from city shelters who have overstayed the 60-day limit, causing confusion. In the first two days of eviction, fewer than 10 migrants were evicted from their shelters, according to the City. Five migrants were forced to leave Monday, while three were evicted Sunday.

Mayor Brandon Johnson’s administration described the eviction policy as a way “decompress” the City’s shelter population. “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,” said Mayor Johnson. 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. 

“Amidst a broken immigration system, federal inaction, the influx of 36,000 new arrivals since August 2022—with 12,000 of them living in shelters—our city and your administration has acted true to its values, working tirelessly to provide emergency shelter to all new Chicagoans in need. We need an end to this policy, as it doesn’t solve our challenges, it merely exacerbates and displaces them,” said Alderperson Andre Vasquez.

To date, 14,700 people have exited shelter due to resettlement across the Chicago area and 5,200 people have reunited with family and friends through out-migration for a total of 19,900 people supported. Currently, 4,155 of 11,210 shelter residents are being provided support in resettlement efforts and are making progress towards securing housing, according to the City of Chicago.

“For over a year, Chicago has been extending solidarity with our migrant neighbors seeking asylum in the spirit of our values as a sanctuary city. For the first three months of this administration, the city was opening a shelter every nine days. The City of Chicago and the Chicago City Council Latino Caucus feel a deep sense of responsibility to support those coming to our city seeking refuge,” stated the Chicago City Council Latino Caucus. “We will continue to work with Mayor Johnson’s administration to implement a plan to create more shelter space across the city, use tent base camps to relieve police stations as new arrivals wait for shelter, develop communication with organizations at the border and seek partnership with other municipalities to share in the responsibility.”

The city has sought to limit shelter stays to 60 days for the more than 10,000 migrants, requiring them to find housing or apply for other shelter at the city’s “landing zone” for new arrivals after their exit dates arrive. The evictions also come amid a measles outbreak at one of the shelters. The 60-day shelter stay limit was originally announced in the wake of the State’s announcement of increased investment in resettlement services and case management. The new exit dates for this group may be adjusted depending on if they meet eligibility for new extensions and will be added on to their current exit date.

Comments are closed.