Chicago aldermen push for more funding amid reports of migrants sleeping inside police stations

With America's migrant crisis expected to go from bad to worse, Chicago city leaders are calling for help.

DFSS officials said arrivals to the city have spiked in the last two weeks, prompting a group of aldermen to seek help from the state and federal government.

"Our system is over capacity," said DFSS Commissioner Brandie Knazze during a meeting Friday. "Make no mistake, we are in a surge and things have yet to peak."

Right now, Chicago's seven shelters are housing over 2,800 migrants. But over the last 10 days, DFSS said new arrivals have jumped from 10 per day to 75-125.


What's equally concerning is Title 42, the COVID-era border policy, goes away May 11th — and at the border are some 45,000 migrants waiting to get into the U.S.

"We are using every tool in our toolbox to meet this growing crisis," said Knazze.

It's not enough, though. Several aldermen said the city has spent $20 million on migrants and is now out of money, and also report entire families sleeping inside police stations.

"This is not safe and it's not the right way to treat people," said 3rd ward Alderwoman Pat Dowell. "It's prohibiting the police from doing the work that they need to do."

"Immigrant families and children are sleeping in police stations," added Ald. Ariel Reboyras of the 13th ward. "We don't have the resources in the police department. We are now down to zero money. No commitments. What do we do?"

Several aldermen on Friday's Zoom call said they plan to approach Illinois Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth for help in securing federal funds to help Chicago handle the expected influx in migrants in the coming weeks.

Four-hundred and sixteen migrants have arrived in Chicago since August of last year, each of whom are costing the city $7,000 per month.