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Chicago to move migrants from police stations to tent camps before winter under mayor’s plan

The tents could hold up to 1,000 migrants and the camps would provide meals and recreational and educational programming

Migrantes venezolanos en Estados Unidos
Immigrants from Venezuela are reflected in a marble wall while taking shelter at the Chicago Police Department's 16th District station on Monday, May 1, 2023.Charles Rex Arbogast (AP)

Nearly 1,600 migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. will be relocated from Chicago police stations to winterized camps with massive tents under a plan by Mayor Brandon Johnson, according to a report released Thursday.

The relocations will occur “before the weather begins to shift and change,” Johnson said in an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times.

The tents could hold up to 1,000 migrants, he said, and the camps would provide meals and recreational and educational programming.

Sixteen city shelters now house 13,500 migrants, with more arriving every day, at a cost to the city of about $30 million per month the newspaper reported.

Johnson’s administration is working with the state and Cook County to create more shelters to relieve some of the pressure on Chicago, he said.

“These families are coming to the city of Chicago. . . . If we do not create an infrastructure where we’re able to support and, quite frankly, contain these individuals who have experienced a great deal of harm, individuals who are desperate . . . that type of desperation will lead to chaos,” Johnson said.

Earlier this week, several migrants were arrested in separate incidents on suspicion of threatening or battering officers at a police station.

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