Chicago migrant shelter evictions to begin despite measles outbreak

The measles outbreak in Chicago is not stopping Mayor Brandon Johnson's 60-day limit for migrants staying at shelters.

Johnson said it's time for residents to move on. Evictions will start Saturday despite the ongoing measles outbreak. Roughly 5,600 people could be put out. 

Several City Council members opposed the evictions earlier this week, with 18 of them signing a letter to the mayor, urging him not to enforce that migrants will be cut off from stability.

The city's policy of limiting shelter stays to 60 days was delayed during winter. Now, there's a measles outbreak in one of the shelters, but Johnson said not everyone has to go. 

"There are exemptions even within this policy, that are still permissible," Johnson said. "Individuals who are in the process of securing housing or outmigration, if there are other extenuating circumstances around their health or pregnancy.There are a number of people who won't be subject because they fall under that particular dimension of the policy."

The city has not detailed how these evictions are going to work or where they are going to start. People exiting shelters will be able to reapply for a bed at the city’s designated "landing zone," at 800 S. Desplaines St.

State officials said Wednesday about 10% of the 11,000 migrants in shelters are eligible for employment authorization under federal law, and around 1,300 households are in the process of securing state rental assistance.

Council members last applied similar pressure in late January, and Johnson postponed the day of reckoning. But it was snowing in Chicago then, with single-digit temperatures.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.