Since August 2022, Chicago has experienced an unprecedented and alarming surge of forced migration. Governor Abbott of Texas and other conservative leaders have sent, without any coordination, over 19,500 asylum seekers to Chicago in order to stress the city’s status as a ‘Sanctuary City.’
In a short period of time, forced migration from Texas has created a localized humanitarian crisis in Chicago. To quickly mobilize and respond to this crisis, Chicago has had to ‘build a plane while flying it,’ so to speak.
There are many city departments, community based organizations, mutual aid groups, and other entities responding to this crisis. Their actions are often not communicated clearly to the public, limiting both accountability and praise.
In addition to grappling with this new humanitarian crisis, Chicago is also working to help longtime Chicago residents facing poverty, racial discrimination, and other societal ills. Many of us hope that through this current crisis, Chicago will expand beneficial infrastructure, resources and access for all who live in precarity.