Burr Ridge Mayor throws migrants out.
Migrants relocated to Cook County after being placed temporarily in a Burr Ridge hotel
By Zareen Syed, Chicago Tribune
Sep 19, 2022 at 6:04 pm
Sept. 8, 2022. (Chris Sweda / Chicago Tribune)
The 64 Venezuelan migrants that were temporarily placed in a hotel in Burr Ridge on Sept. 7 after being bused from Texas to Chicago, were relocated to Cook County, Mayor Gary Grasso announced in a news release Sunday.
The refugees have been moved to a hotel in Cook County, but state officials once again did not alert the mayor’s office of the plans, Grasso said.
According to the statement, the village received a courtesy call from the DuPage County Board of Health about a possible move. Health officials eventually confirmed the move was taking place as it was in progress, Grasso wrote.
“Why the State would inform the County but not the Village is unknown, as there has been no need for DBOH services during the refugee stay in the Village and they are being moved to Cook County,” Grasso said.
Over the last several weeks, hundreds of individuals and families were brought to Chicago as part of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s plan to send asylum-seekers to sanctuary cities in a move highlighting Republican leaders’ opposition to President Joe Biden’s policies on immigration.
When dozens of refugees, mostly families, were taken to Hampton Inn and Suites in the southwestern suburb from a shelter in Humboldt Park, Grasso said village officials were not notified before the migrants’ arrival.
“Our laws are based on due process, on notice — on a right to speak up before something happens to you. We were completely blindsided and the idea that neither the city nor the state thought to call the mayor or the administrator of our village to me is almost intentional to just do this to us,” Grasso said a few days later.
According to village officials, the families were expected to stay in Burr Ridge for 30 days from when they first arrived, with staff members from the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) staying close to assist with housing and employment.
“I’m not a believer in sanctuary cities, I don’t think my community is in favor of it, some might be but I think most aren’t,” Grasso said.
Speaking at a news conference last week, Gov. J.B. Pritzker sounded off on suburban leaders criticizing his office for the handling of migrant families being brought to Illinois.
“I know that there are some who are grumbling and upset that hotels or motels in their communities are opening their doors to strangers in need, arguing that they received short notice,” Pritzker said. “So let’s talk about the challenges presented to the city of Chicago and to the state. Remember, the governor of the state of Texas is choosing not to notify the city or the state when he is sending busloads of families.”
In an open letter following Pritzker’s remarks, Grasso asked for an apology “to rebuild a bridge you destroyed.”
“You disparage us for asking for basic courtesies and information and in the next moment issue an emergency disaster proclamation, activating the National Guard over the intermittent arrival of a mere 500 refugees from the southern border while Gov. Abbott daily deals with many thousands,” Grasso wrote. “That is the hubris and hypocrisy of a candidate for reelection, not a governor.”
On Wednesday, Pritzker signed a disaster proclamation to secure resources for the asylum-seekers bused to Illinois from Texas and deployed 75 National Guard members to assist with the logistics of receiving the migrants.
Migrants told the Tribune last week that most boarded the buses hopeful of finding people and organizations to assist them and get farther from the southern border. When they depart Texas, they are told they’ll receive shelter in Chicago but are given no specific guidance or logistics, they said.
In the statement, Grasso said he understands the state wasn’t initially aware that Hampton Inn was in DuPage County and may have decided to move the refugees to a location in Cook County afterward.
“The State’s first announcement about the refugees coming here was based on a coordinated action with Cook County and the City of Chicago, so that may be the reason,” he said. “Staff had heard from the DBOH Friday that this move might occur over the weekend, so midday yesterday I inquired with the State as to whom I should ask for information. That contact person told me that the State had not made a decision to move the refugees, but they were discussing it. I asked to be kept apprised; she promised to do so, but has not.”