December 27, 2023

Mayor Brandon Johnson Joins New York City Mayor Eric Adams And Denver Mayor Mike Johnston For Continued Call For Federal Support In Addressing Humanitarian Asylum Seeker Crisis

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

CHICAGO – Mayor Brandon Johnson joined New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Denver Mayor Mike Johnston in a virtual press conference to call for federal support and coordination to alleviate the burden on cities dealing with the asylum seeker crisis.

Over the past year, the Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, has sent more than 80,000 asylum seekers by bus and plane to Democrat-run cities, with the promise of tens of thousands more in the upcoming months.

"I am proud to stand with Mayor Adams and Mayor Johnston as we come together to advocate for viable solutions to this humanitarian crisis," said Mayor Brandon Johnson. "Chicago will always be a welcoming city, but we need collaboration at all levels of government and our federal partners to provide the necessary coordination and resources so that cities like Chicago, Denver and New York have what is needed to do this crucial work.

"We are united in our continued call for federal support to ensure that all those seeking asylum in this country are treated with dignity and humanity.”

“New York City has begun to see another surge of migrants arriving and we expect this to intensify over the coming days as a result of Texas Governor Abbott’s cruel and inhumane politics,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “I'm proud to stand with Mayor Johnson and Mayor Johnston and push for more federal support for cities impacted by this growing humanitarian crisis.”

"As Denver continues to see an increase of newcomers arriving in our city, many of whom are families with children who arrive in the middle of the night in below-freezing conditions, it's clear that what the U.S. is currently doing is not working," said Denver Mayor Mike Johnston. "Our cities are working shoulder-to-shoulder to support newcomers, but it's time for the federal government to increase work authorization, create a coordinated entry strategy, and provide more federal dollars to ensure cities can manage this crisis and help newcomers thrive.”

The City of Chicago is moving rapidly to find shelter for asylum seekers arriving from the border. In recent days, multiple rogue buses arrived over the Christmas holiday weekend carrying as many as 500 asylum seekers per day and dropping them in random locations across the Chicagoland area in violation of safety protocols established by the City.

The City continues to expend all available resources to welcome asylum seekers with care and dignity in a shelter system that has reached capacity with more than 15,000 asylum seekers currently under the City’s care. The City is addressing the immediate needs of those arriving from the Southern border with resources including blankets, water, food, and warming buses.

The City is making additional requests of the State of Illinois and Cook County governments to assist with resources and beds to prevent new arrivals from sleeping outdoors in inclement winter weather. The City has also communicated with intergovernmental partners a willingness to provide technical assistance for municipalities across the state to support a statewide system of care.

Texas bus operators continue to willfully break the law by disregarding regulations designed to ensure the safety of asylum seekers arriving in Chicago. To date, 95 buses have been cited in violation of the ordinance, two buses have been impounded and three buses have been issued ANOVs (Administrative Notice of Violations) for illegal sewage dumping.

With more than 600 buses arriving without coordination from the border and limited federal support, the mission requires significantly more federal investments to continue to humanely welcome new arrivals. Now is the time to build a system of care beyond Chicago as shelter capacity has reached its maximum within city limits.