Chicago Suburb Says It Didn't Know Dozens of Migrants Were Being Sent From Chicago as More Buses Arrived in City

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Over the last week, more migrants have continued to arrive at the Salvation Army and other shelters in Chicago after being bused from Texas as part of an initiative from Gov. Greg Abbott designed to send away asylum-seekers to northern, Democrat-led "sanctuary cities."

However, while both Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker have greeted those arriving with open arms, a recent group of refugees have since been transported to temporary housing in suburban Burr Ridge after arriving in the city -- a move that village officials say they were not aware of.

"On Wednesday, September 7, the Village of Burr Ridge learned that 64 refugees, among many bussed to Chicago from Texas, were transported from the Salvation Army Shield of Hope in Chicago and assigned to temporary hotel housing in Burr Ridge," a village spokesperson told NBC 5. "Neither Village elected officials nor staff were consulted or contacted about this decision and we are now gathering information to keep our community updated."

According to officials, the refugees taken to Burr Ridge are primarily families with children.

Last week, when the first migrants arrived in the city, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said her administration was aware of the plan, and that they were working to find shelter and other services for individuals bused to the city.

"This is such an important moment for Chicago as our city has been a sanctuary for thousands of newcomers. We are welcoming them and we will not turn our backs on those who need our help the most," Lightfoot said last Wednesday in a statement.

"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."

Thursday, the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services released a statement saying confirming that more migrants had arrived in Chicago Wednesday.

"Upon arrival, they were provided immediate shelter and supports to meet their basic needs. In the coming days, they will receive in-depth case management and connections to services from city, state, and community-based agencies."

The Illinois Department of Human Services said the state has so far welcomes nearly 300 migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants, "most coming to Illinois with only the clothes on their backs."

"We are working with not-for-profits, along with federal, city, and county officials and our sister state agencies to ensure that every single individual is treated with respect and dignity as they seek to build a new life for themselves and their families," the department said in a statement to NBC 5 Thursday. "Many are receiving temporary shelter in urban and suburban hotels that have provided refuge for vulnerable families from Afghanistan and other parts of the world. We are grateful for the hospitality and care they have received from individuals and organizations across Illinois. We will continue taking action to ensure everyone in Illinois has access to shelter, food, healthcare, and other basic, essential supports. We anticipate that the State of Texas will continue to bus migrants to Illinois, and we remain committed to helping welcome new arrivals in a responsible, orderly, and compassionate way."

According to officials in Burr Ridge, the migrants are expected to remain in temporary housing in the suburb "over the next few weeks, but ultimately move on no more than 30 days from this date."

Village officials also noted that they expect the number of refugees staying in the community to decrease over time, as many of them work to establish housing and employment.

Burr Ridge says that earlier this year, the village also hosted asylum-seeking refugees from Afghanistan, "who have now found permanent housing and employment."

Those wishing to donate materials can do so through WorldRelief Chicagoland, officials say.

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