ELBURN, Ill. (WLS) — Grundy County has joined other Chicago suburbs in trying to dissuade buses from dropping off Texas migrants outside the city.
As the rhetoric around this issue intensifies, a growing number of suburbs are calling emergency meetings and taking action to keep these migrant buses away.
Buses drop off asylum seekers unannounced in cities like University Park, Aurora and more.
Two more buses are expected Thursday near Des Plaines and Polk streets in Chicago, and more migrants were dropped off there Wednesday evening, huddled in the cold.
In south suburban Matteson, the village council passed an ordinance threatening heavy fines against bus drivers unloading migrants without notice, in an effort to circumvent Chicago regulations.
“The message is: Don’t just drop off individuals in our community. Don’t do this to anyone. It’s inhumane to do this,” said Village President Sheila Chalmers-Currie.
“If these migrants are being dropped off in the wee hours of the morning and they’re walking or wandering, say, near I-57, it’s not safe,” said Matteson Vlilage attorney Felicia Frazier.
Just days before Christmas, Grundy County, southwest of Chicago, installed two digital signs along Interstate 55 to discourage buses from stopping in this rather rural area.
“The mayor of Chicago has created a situation that creates a crisis for us by setting a much tougher standard for his buses to arrive in Chicago,” Grundy County Sheriff Ken Briley said.
The signs have since been taken down but the sheriff’s office is on alert for any arrivals.
“Law enforcement officers need to respond to that area, talk with the bus driver, make sure they know where they’re going and try to encourage them to continue,” Briley said.
Grundy County leaders developed a plan this weekend to encourage buses to continue on their route if they stop there or, if the migrants are abandoned, they will take them to Joliet and put them on trains to transfer to sanctuary cities.
“We wanted to make sure we had a plan to not leave these people stuck in the cold with nowhere to go,” Briley said.
At a special board meeting Wednesday night, Chicago Ridge voted to crack down on random deposits.
The village of Elburn also voted to require five days’ notice before a bus arrives and background checks of migrants on board.
Violations will cost the bus company up to $750 per passenger.
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This comes after more than 30 buses dropped off hundreds of migrants across the map, at all hours of the day, without warning.
The city of Chicago passed an ordinance earlier this month prohibiting buses from arriving and dropping off new arrivals without notice. Mayor Brandon Johnson said more than 100 citations were given.
At a joint news conference with the mayors of New York and Denver, Johnson acknowledged how Chicago’s crackdown on rogue buses has led to suburbs now being flooded with migrants.
“What these mayors are seeking is much like what you are seeing now, and they are prepared to pass similar ordinances not only to defend the sanctity of our nation, but also to ensure that we respond responsibly” , Johnson said. .
Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s bus operation has transported more than 80,000 migrants to Democratic-run cities since last year. His administration recently intensified this practice by chartered planes.
Alderman Brian Hopkins appeared on CNN and criticized the White House, saying efforts this week to involve Mexican officials came a year too late.
“I’m a Democrat, but I will say that the Biden administration completely dropped the ball. I’m not going to let him get away with this. They did it, they left us in the ditch with this, and it is unacceptable,” he added. ” he said.
Hopkins and other Chicago aldermen said they were awaiting an update on the crisis in a call with the mayor’s office in the morning. The mayor’s spokesperson did not respond to our request for comment. In
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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