In a peculiar development, hundreds of migrants have found an unexpected refuge inside a shuttle bus center at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, according to a report by The Associated Press. The migrants, who were intended to use the center as a temporary stop, now endure living conditions that raise both safety and public health concerns. Vianney Marzullo, a volunteer at O’Hare, expressed worry, stating that the situation goes beyond safety, emphasizing its implications for public health.
The migrants, shielded by a black curtain, share airport bathrooms and sleep on cardboard on the floor of Terminal 1. A private company monitors their movements, raising questions about the circumstances that led to this unique situation. The report reveals that Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott has played a role in bussing migrants to Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles. Abbott justifies this move as a means to “provide much-needed relief to our overrun border towns,” attributing the surge in illegal immigration to President Biden’s perceived lax border policies.
HUNDREDS OF MIGRANTS LIVE INSIDE CHICAGO O’HARE AIRPORT AS CITY GRAPPLES WITH HOW TO HOUSE THEM (Fox News)
Hundreds of migrants live inside a bus center at Chicago O’Hare International Airport for weeks at a time as the city tries to move them into shelters. pic.twitter.com/rbtq8YmB6I
— FXHedge (@Fxhedgers) October 2, 2023
Chicago, grappling with the unexpected influx, currently utilizes both O’Hare and Midway international airports to house migrants temporarily. The city, while working on constructing additional shelters, faces challenges in finding long-term solutions for the migrants. Despite concerns, Chicago has reportedly added 15 shelters since May and resettled around 3,000 people, demonstrating ongoing efforts to address the capacity issues.
Cristina Pacione-Zayas, the first deputy chief of staff for Mayor Brandon Johnson, acknowledged the imperfections in the current situation but emphasized the city’s commitment to its values as a sanctuary city. Pacione-Zayas affirmed ongoing efforts to work on the issue and stated that Chicago is “holding the line” in providing assistance to migrants.
Among the migrants is 42-year-old Yoli Cordova, a Venezuelan who fled her home country due to discrimination based on her sexual orientation. Cordova expressed uncertainty about receiving help in the current setting, stating, “I really don’t know what to do, where to go.” As the city grapples with this unexpected challenge, the report highlights the complex interplay between state policies, local responses, and the individual stories of migrants seeking refuge in the U.S.