Residents in a Chicago neighborhood are protesting the city’s plans to establish a migrant shelter inside a closed-down elementary school, sharing that they feel ‘blindsided’ by Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s decision.
Lightfoot’s administration has for months planned to house migrants at a vacant building formerly home to Wadsworth Elementary School, 6420 S. University Ave. in Woodlawn.
A group of Woodlawn neighborhood residents gathered Thursday morning to insist that the Chicago government provide resources for locals rather than the migrants.
‘The community feels disrespected, they feel as though they were not included, and they need answers today,’ community member Jennifer Maddox told Fox 32.
Those in the Woodlawn neighborhood said the announcement of the migrant shelter came without Chicago officials providing details on the migrant’s living arrangement or a timeline.
‘I’m here because I am concerned, I live here, and we need to know what the plan is,’ Carlas Prince Gilbert, a Woodlawn business owner told Fox 32.
Residents say they feel like the announcement felt like ‘a slap in the face’ and they think there are other more pressing community issues that should be addressed first like the Chicago crime wave, homelessness issues, and the rising cost of living.
‘There is a lack of resources in our community, we don’t need anyone else to come in and suck those up. We’re tired, Ms. Lightfoot,’ Erica, a resident, told Fox 32.
Now, residents are demanding answers from their government and are asking if the placed migrants will have background checks before they move in and if the city will provide law enforcement on site.
‘We’re struggling right now to make Woodlawn an affordable, mixed-income community. While I would love to help immigrants and everybody else, I’d like to help my own first,’ said Jeane Clark
The move-in was initially scheduled for as early as Friday but Taylor’s office confirmed the opening of the location has been postponed indefinitely.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital.
Nearly 4,000 migrants have arrived in Chicago since Aug. 31, when Texas Gov. Greg Abbott began bussing them to Democratic-led cities to protest federal immigration policies. Lightfoot previously visited Washington, D.C., and requested support from President Biden to assist her city in handling the surge of migrants.