CHICAGO - The city's pressing migrant crisis is in the spotlight now more than ever, and South Side residents are fired up over recent plans for temporary shelters.
Mayor Brandon Johnson currently has his sights set on creating a ‘tent city’ for migrants in the parking lot of the former Jewel Osco at 115th Street and Halsted.
On Wednesday evening, 21st Ward Alderman Ronnie Mosley held a meeting on the issue at the nearby Sheldon Heights Church of Christ, located at 114th Street and Halsted.
"How can you come into a community and dump people into a community like this, this is not fair," said Annette Cain, community member.
The meeting was filled to capacity, and as a result, many community members were turned away; however, they gathered outside to share their concerns.
"First of all, they definitely chose this venue for a reason, they chose a small venue to discourage the community from being able to show up," said Drew Aslin, community member.
In recent days, the mayor revealed that several sites across the city have been identified for the creation of "tent cities" to shelter migrants during the winter months. The city plans to move migrants out of police stations and into the ‘winterized’ camps.
"This is essentially like a Band-Aid to a gunshot wound, you are putting a Band-Aid on a huge problem at hand," said Aslin. "They want to push this out of sight and out of mind."
"I think that’s a bad idea," said Lonnie Fuqua, community member. "We have enough problems in this neighborhood already."
Johnson’s idea is coming with major pushback, and many residents are calling on city leaders to focus on the needs of taxpayers first.
"We are the residents of this community, and we demand that they do not put these people here," said Cain. "They're not even following the rules in the police stations, what makes us think they're going to follow the rules here."
Cain added that the community is in need of grocery stores, mental health facilities, and housing for homeless citizens – and feels that should be the priority.
The Office of Mayor Brandon Johnson did not return FOX 32 Chicago’s request for a statement on the situation Wednesday evening.
Chicago’s migrant crisis will have cost taxpayers more than a quarter of a billion dollars by Dec. 31, Johnson told City Council members Friday.