Chicago migrants still living in police stations despite city's goal to them into shelters by Friday
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CHICAGO (WLS) — While the city set a goal of having all Chicago migrants out of police stations and into shelters by Friday, it is likely to not be met.

Two more buses from the southern border arrived in the city arrived Friday afternoon, and there are some police districts that are still holding dozens of migrants.

“There are some people that I think have been here for several months,” said Connie Hernandez, volunteer at the 25th District.

At District 25, about 75 people are staying both inside and outside the station, according Hernandez.

“The majority of the folks here are single men. There are a couple of families, but they try to move the families out,” she said.

Jonathan Bellas, a migrant from Ecuador, has been living at the 25th District for three weeks. He said unlike his native home, it’s very cold here. He has experience working in construction, as an electrician and as a gardener, but is waiting for a temporary work permit from the city.

Maria Jose came with her husband and is also ready to work. She’s just waiting for the right documents.

As of Friday, the city said 11 of the 25 police district have been fully “decompressed,” or closed, as migrant shelters. Yet several remain open as 877 new arrivals await placement.

“The city was like, we still don’t have shelter spaces enough for the single men, so your station in particular is not going to be decompressed, yet,” Hernandez said.

Buses continue to arrive daily from the southern border, carrying dozens of young children and their parents. Organizers at the so-called landing zone say they are prioritizing ending sending families to shelters, rather than police stations, to protect them from the cold.

“We need to reflect and strategize on what the next step looks like and we haven’t got the time to do that yet, but hopefully soon,” Hernandez said.

The city’s new Unity Initiative with churches also aims to lessen the burden on police stations and shelters, but the churches are only capable of taking 20 migrants at a time.

In the meantime, the city is working to build a massive migrant base camp in Brighton Park that is designed to house 2,000 migrants. An environmental report on that site is expected Friday.

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