Northerly Island visitor center serving as temporary housing for migrants

A group of more than a dozen migrants is being housed temporarily at the Northerly Island visitor center near the Museum Campus.

About 15 migrants — primarily from Venezuela — are staying at the center until Friday, when they will be moved to another location, according to a migrant who said he arrived there Monday.

Kelvin, 29, said he entered the United States through Texas with his wife in late December and then they were taken to Denver. From there, they were put on a bus that dropped them off in Chicago last week. He was staying at another location in the city before being moved to the visitor center.

"Life is hard in Venezuela, nothing is the same over there," said Kelvin, who asked to be identified only by his first name. "We have two kids that we want to help get ahead. What we can make in one or two years here you couldn’t achieve in 10 over there."


He said his two young daughters had to stay back in Venezuela with family. He’s hoping to save enough to see them again.

Kelvin said the visitor center is housing men, and his wife is staying at a different location.

The mayor’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for more information about the temporary shelter.

Since late August, thousands of asylum seekers have arrived in Chicago aboard chartered buses. Many were sent from Texas by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who also sent asylum seekers to other cities led by Democrats.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has asked state lawmakers for more funding to provide for the migrants and asylum seekers that have arrived in recent months.