Residents Of Chicago’s Woodlawn Neighborhood Protest Shelter For Migrants

[Screenshot/Public/Twitter/Laura Rodriguez]

Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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Residents of a Chicago neighborhood protested preparations to establish a migrant shelter inside a closed-down elementary school, allegedly without the locals’ permission.

A group of Woodlawn residents gathered Thursday morning to insist the community provide resources for locals rather than the migrants, the Chicago Tribune reported. The city reportedly plans to convert Wadsworth Elementary School into housing for migrants relocated to the city.

“I’m here because I am a child of Woodlawn … and I’m speaking on behalf of the people that are here and the one’s that’s [sic] not here,” one resident said, according to video footage from the gathering. “We are very disappointed in this decision that Mayor Lightfoot has made to place these migrants in our community without our permission. Mayor Lightfoot would never pull this type of thing in anyone’s neighborhood. She would not drop off a busload of Haitians in Little Village. She would not drop off a busload of black people in Chinatown. She would not drop off a busload of black people up north.”

The resident asked Lightfoot to “please withdraw your decision to put the migrants in our community.” Ald. Jeanette Taylor told the Tribune the locals’ dissent came from concerns about the lack of resources in Woodlawn, rather than an opposition to the migrants themselves.

The resident said the migrants should be relocated to the city’s Little Village neighborhood because there is allegedly “more room” there. She cited concerns of fentanyl in the community and a lack of resources, and argued migrants should not take what is already a scarcity of assets. (RELATED: New York Begins Construction Of A Tent City To House Illegal Migrants)

“We’re tired, Ms. Lightfoot,” the woman continued.

Other members of the community criticized the reported move to shelter migrants in their neighborhood.

“The community feels disrespected, they feel as though they were not included, and they need answers today,” community member Jennifer Maddox said, according to FOX32.

“While I’ll love to help immigrants and everybody else, I’ll like to help my own first,” Woodlawn resident Jean Clark said, according to the Tribune.

Taylor said neither she nor the residents had been informed about the mayor’s plan, FOX32 reported.

A city official told the outlet “the city doesn’t have a statement” on the matter. The opening of the migrant shelter in Wadsworth Elementary has since been postponed, the Tribune reported Thursday evening, citing Taylor. The shelter was initially set to open Friday, FOX32 reported.

Migrants have been bused to Chicago from Texas under the authority of Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott since August. The city said it received 100 illegal immigrants Aug. 31. Lightfoot previously visited Washington, D.C., and requested support from President Joe Biden’s administration to assist her city in handling the surge of migrants.