Chicago declares state of emergency over migrant arrivals

The mayor's office said the latest people to arrive had been bused to the city from Texas by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
Immigrants take shelter in a Chicago police station.
Posted at 10:11 PM, May 09, 2023

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot declared a state of emergency Tuesday in response to a recent influx of migrants to the city.

On Tuesday 48 individuals arrived, adding to the recent arrival of individuals and families.

In a statement announcing the emergency, the mayor's office said the latest people to arrive had been bused to the city from Texas by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

Since last year, the city has worked to receive and provide emergency care for more than 8,000 new arrivals, by finding places to put temporary shelters.

According to the emergency order, new arrivals have had to temporarily shelter in police stations because the existing network of shelters is full.

The governor's office says it plans to expand its support network, since it expects to need to shelter more migrants going forward.

Chicago has called for more resources and funding from the federal government and from other states, saying it doesn't have enough resources to meet current needs.

According to the order, Mayor Lightfoot may request activation of the Illinois National Guard to help meet staffing and logistics needs.

Border Patrol

Why Are Governors Busing Migrants?

Republican governors are accused of busing migrants up north to Democratic led cities as a tactic to blame President Biden for an immigration issue.


Chicago joins other democratic strongholds that have invoked emergencies over arriving migrants, and that have blamed governors in Republican states for not doing enough to coordinate the trips.

Parts of New York state have declared an emergency over migrant arrivals, saying the continued arrivals have strained their local resources.

Washington, D.C. declared a public health emergency and has twice, unsuccessfully, requested support from the National Guard.

Immigrant families

Chicago's migrant crisis: Hundreds shelter inside police stations

The city's outgoing mayor has issued a state of emergency over the growing migrant influx, calling the situation "flat-out dangerous."