December 18, 2023

City of Chicago Updates to the New Arrival Mission

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

CHICAGO – The City of Chicago is announcing the following updates to the New Arrivals Mission:  


Police District Decompression 

The Johnson Administration has successfully transitioned nearly 4,000 asylum-seekers from emergency staging areas into temporary shelters in recent weeks. As of December 14, all police stations have been decompressed and retired as emergency staging areas.  

“I am grateful to City workers, faith leaders and everyone working toward this stage in the new arrivals mission,” said Mayor Brandon Johnson. “I also extend gratitude to the police officers across in our districts who continued to perform their duties while managing this humanitarian crisis, as well as the mutual aid volunteers who spent countless hours outside police stations providing care and compassion to asylum seekers.” 

The decompression of all 22 district stations is a key step forward in the mission. The City has welcomed nearly 26,000 asylum seekers since the first buses arrived from the Southern border in August of 2022. The City is currently providing shelter for nearly 14,000 asylum seekers in 27 temporary City shelters.  


Amended Bus Safety Ordinance 

The Chicago City Council implemented a bus safety ordinance on November 18 to ensure the orderly and safe intake of new arrivals to Chicago. The ordinance was amended on December 13 by the Council, enacting additional penalties, including the impoundment and towing of buses that refuse to comply with safety protocols set by the City. The safety protocols mandate that bus companies dropping off individuals in the City of Chicago must unload at the designated landing zone and must fill out the requisite paperwork to ensure an orderly process for intaking new arrivals. 

In accordance with the amended bus safety ordinance, the City of Chicago towed and impounded a bus attempting to drop individuals off without a permit on December 13. The bus originated in Eagle Pass, Texas, and had 49 passengers.  

Bus companies have also attempted to drop passengers in nearby municipalities including Rosemont, Cicero, and Schiller Park to skirt the law. Nearby municipalities have begun to pass similar safety ordinances to discourage bus companies from dropping asylum seekers without proper coordination.  

As temperatures continue to fall, the City is enacting stricter penalties to discourage bus companies from flouting these protocols. The inhumane treatment further endangers the safety and security of asylum seekers, and adds additional strain to City departments, volunteers and mutual aid partners tasked with easing what is already a harsh transition.  

Since the beginning of the New Arrivals Mission, neither the City of Chicago nor the State of Illinois has had any formal communication with the Texas Governor Greg Abbott as he has transported nearly 26,000 asylum seekers to Chicago. 

The City has successfully resettled or reunited over 10,000 asylum seekers while providing shelter, food and wraparound services for more than 15,000 others. 


11414 S. Halsted Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Report   

The City of Chicago Department of Assets, Information, and Services (AIS) hired A3E Consulting to conduct a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment in accordance with ASTM Standard Practice E1527-13 for the site located at 11414 S. Halsted. 

The Phase I Report details evidence of three known or suspected Recognized Environmental Conditions (RECs): 

  1. The federal TANKS CHICAGO database reports indicated a 275-gallon fuel oil underground storage tank (UST) was installed in 1952. Based on the lack of UST removal records and the potential impacts to the subsurface, the database listing at this site represents a REC.   

  2. A previous occupant, Victors Valet (dry cleaning facility) is considered a REC due to the potential for a release impacting the subsurface soils and groundwater.

  3. Evidence suggests that the east adjoining property at 11451 S. Halsted was occupied by service and gas stations from 1960-1978. Based on the lack of UST records, the adjoining property represents a REC.   

The Phase I Report includes a recommendation for additional investigation to evaluate the RECs. The report was posted to the City of Chicago New Arrivals website on Wednesday, December 13, and can be accessed in full at this link.  


Office of Budget Management Dashboard for New Arrivals Mission Vendors

The City of Chicago Office of Budget and Management (OBM) has collaborated with City departments to develop the New Arrivals Vendor Payment Dashboard, accessible to the public through the City’s website dedicated to the New Arrivals Mission. 

The numbers reflect cumulative payments for costs associated with the City’s New Arrival Mission. The dashboard allows for tracking expenses by vendor, payment amount, payment date and date range, with monthly data updates on the 10th of each month.  

The dashboard features include the following: 

  • A centralized location to access data linked to spending on the New Arrival Mission 

  • A breakdown of vendors

  • A direct link to the Department of Procurement website for access to related vendor contracts 

  • A direct link to the Chicago Open Data Portal for access to the underlying data sets 

  • A breakdown of the funds supporting the costs, including federal and state grants, and the City’s corporate funds.