Some migrants in Chicago were locked out of a police station where they were being housed as they gathered on a crowded sidewalk Wednesday with all their belongings, as the city was preparing for more arrivals.
Outside the 1st District police station on 17th and State streets, migrants, along with mattresses, furniture, carpets and personal items were crammed on a sidewalk, Fox Chicago reported. The doors to the police station were locked and the building lobby was empty, the news report said.
Fox News Digital has reached out to the Chicago Police Department and city officials.
A Venezuelan migrant told the news outlet that he had been staying in the lobby of the police station but that it had been closed down Wednesday. He said the migrants were told to move their stuff outside and a portable toilet was placed on the sidewalk.
Several police stations in the city have been housing migrants who have arrived since last year. Shelters are currently housing more than 9,800 migrants, while another 3,000 are still waiting to be placed somewhere.
More than 17,000 migrants have come to Chicago since last August. Many have been bussed from Texas as part of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott‘s plan to relocate migrants from border towns to so-called “sanctuary” cities to bring attention to the influx of asylum seekers.
Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson on Wednesday announced that he plans to visit the U.S.-Mexico border. He did not disclose any specifics of the planned visit.
“So, going to the border is to make sure that everybody knows that my administration is committed to making sure that we are putting together the full force of government at every single level to ensure that these families, who, by the way, they’re not illegal, they’re asylum seekers, they are protected by international law,” Johnson said at a news conference.
He said the city was expecting many as 22 buses full of migrants Wednesday.
On the same day, residents on Chicago’s South Side also announced a lawsuit against the city in an effort to stop the housing of migrants in schools, parks and police stations, the news outlet said.
“It’s not about the migrants themselves, it’s about the city’s response to them and the lies and the mistruths told by the administration. And they are not working in the best interest of Chicago. If you call it a humanitarian effort, they shouldn’t be sleeping in police stations on the floor,” organizer Brian Mullins said.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker joined a growing number of Democrats who have criticized Biden’s border policies when he sent a letter to the president on Monday with a list of demands outlining how the federal government’s response to the border crisis is inadequate. Pritzker complained that more than 15,000 migrants have been shipped “like cargo” to Illinois from border states “in a dehumanizing attempt to score political points.”
Pritzker wrote that the number of migrant arrivals is “overwhelming our ability to provide aid to the refugee population.”
“Unfortunately, the welcome and aid Illinois has been providing to these asylum seekers has not been matched with support by the federal government. Most critically, the government’s lack of intervention and coordination at the border has created an untenable situation for Illinois,” the letter states.
Fox News Digital’s Chris Pandolfo contributed to this report.