A northwest suburb of Chicago is expected to host 90 asylum-seekers from Texas, but the village's mayor said he wasn't afforded much time — or notice — to prepare for the migrants' arrival.
Elk Grove Village announced that the busload of migrants — who are being sent to northern "sanctuary cities" as a part of a controversial plan from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's administration — will arrive Saturday, with plans to be dropped at a local La Quinta Hotel.
The asylum-seekers were expected to land Friday afternoon, but their arrival way delayed, as village officials said they were left in the dark about the situation.
"The village received no advanced notice that the migrants would be arriving here," Elk Grove Mayor Craig Johnson said in a statement Saturday. "We received no information about when the bus would arrive, where the migrants would stay or whose responsibility it was to provide food or medical care."
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After getting word of the impending arrival of the asylum-seekers, Johnson said village officials reached out to a series of local agencies to figure out how to handle a "myriad" of issues and proceed.
"While the village is now well-informed about what is taking place, I cannot tell you how disappointing it is to see the haphazard way in which this has been handled by county, state and city of Chicago officials," Johnson said.
These sentiments were echoed by Burr Ridge Mayor Gary Grasso, who's suburb received 64 refugees Wednesday. Grasso said he had only received second-hand knowledge that any migrants would be arriving in the suburb.
The migrants are currently under hotel housing in Burr Ridge.
Chicago said Saturday it has welcomed a total of approximately 364 migrants from the Texas border since Aug. 31. More asylum-seekers are expected to continuously arrive in the state, city officials said.
"This is such an important moment for Chicago as our city has been a sanctuary for thousands of newcomers," Lightfoot said in a statement earlier. "We are welcoming them and we will not turn our backs on those who need our help the most."
"We understand that many are fleeing violent, traumatic, or otherwise unstable environments," the statement continued. "We will respond with essential services while these individuals navigate the next steps of their journey and our community partners have been working diligently to provide a safety net."
According to the city of Chicago, the state of Illinois is in charge of transporting migrants and mitigating those efforts.
Johnson said the village does not have an official role in managing plans that will accompany what happens next with the individuals, but noted that the village will continue to work with local agencies to address concerns.
“Job number one for us is ensuring the health, safety and welfare of our residents and our entire community," Johnson said. "We will stay on top of this situation on their behalf, hold responsible agencies accountable and manage this issue in a way that keeps our residents safe and well-informed."