‘Stronger Enforcement’: Chicago To Start Impounding Migrant Buses

The Chicago City Council passed an ordinance Wednesday to impound and tow migrant buses that violate new restrictions in an effort to crack down on Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s transports from the southern border.

The buses will face consequences if they don’t offload in designated areas or submit required paperwork, according to a statement from the city. Democratic Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson said Abbott’s buses have attempted to skirt previous regulations passed by the city council in November by dropping migrants off in the middle of traffic, at the O’Hare Airport, on random corners and in nearby suburbs without notifying the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC).

“We have put these protocols in place because after being bussed thousands of miles, rogue bus operators are dropping new arrivals in Cicero, Rosemont, Schiller Park, and places other than our designated landing zone,” Johnson said in a statement Wednesday.

“This inhumane treatment further endangers the safety and security of asylum seekers, and adds additional strain to city departments, volunteers and mutual aid partners tasked with easing what is already a harsh transition,” Johnson added.

The city impounded its first migrant bus Wednesday evening, according to ABC7.

Chicago has received 25,600 migrants since August 2022, when Abbott began his effort, the city said.

Abbott says he’s bused 23,400 migrants to Chicago. In addition to Texas, the cities of Denver and El Paso have also helped migrants get to the Windy City.

The arrivals have overwhelmed the city and its resources as it continues to seek more shelter space to address the influx. The city has opened 25 shelters and has housed migrants at police stations and airports, according to Johnson’s office.

A spokesperson for Abbott didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Jennie Taer on December 14, 2023

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