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Chicago overwhelmed with migrant influx; families sleeping in police stations

Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Migrants bussed from the southern border to Chicago are overwhelming the city's ability to house them, with some sleeping at police stations, Reuters and other outlets reported.

"We don’t want our story to be told that we were unable to house the unhoused or provide a safe harbor for those who are seeking refuge here, because there’s enough room for everyone in the city of Chicago," Chicago's new mayor, Brandon Johnson, said last Monday as he took office, as The Hill reported.

"Whether you are seeking asylum or you are looking for a fully funded neighborhood, we don’t want our story to say that we did not invest in all of the people and all of the communities that make our city great."

Mayor Johnson's predecessor, Lori Lightfoot, declared a state of emergency over the surge May 9 before she left office.

At least 8,500 migrants from Latin America have been bussed from Texas to the Windy City since last August, WBEZ reported.

"Nearly 800" migrants are staying at police stations across the city, a police source told CBS News.

"It's not fair to the police. It's not fair to migrants," 38th Ward Alderman Nick Sposato told the outlet.

"Hundreds have been sleeping and eating on the floors - putting strain on officers who are trying to carry out their daily law enforcement duties," independent photojournalist Rebecca Brannon tweeted Sunday.

Brannon shared video showing the current state of affairs for migrants staying at police stations in the city. Her post amassed 1.4 million views as of Monday.

Rows of mattresses are shown lining the floor, pushed up against plate glass windows. Some adults are seen resting on the beds as children play freely alongside. A police officer is seen in the background working behind a desk.

In another clip, people are seen sitting on the floor in a vestibule, snacking and scrolling their phones, with stacks of belongings piled up around them.

Outside the station, some people rest on blankets on the concrete. Others mill about. Food, boxes, suitcases, and other items are shown in corners and along walls.

Brannon called the situation a "humanitarian crisis," and she is not alone in her assessment.

Wright College is slated to become a temporary home for hundreds of migrants in the Chicago area beginning June 1, if all goes to plan, WLS reported.

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