Halloween in Chicago is usually fairly pleasant, with temperatures averaging in the mid-40s. But last night, O’Hare Airport reported temperatures in the low 30s, with snow showers blanketing the area in about an inch of the white stuff.
Thousands of migrants — most of them from the tropical country of Venezuela — had been sleeping outside of Chicago police stations because there was no room inside the precincts or anywhere else in the city. All the shelters were full.
And last night, with just one, thin blanket to keep them warm, the migrants spent the night outside. Most of them had never experienced temperatures below 60 degrees or seen snow.
One mother had enough and wanted to back to Texas.“I thought we would find help here, but there’s nothing here for us,” said Andrelys Leon, 28, who had been living at the 12th District station with her seven-year-old son. On Tuesday, she gathered her belongings and walked the 1.3 miles to the Greyhound station to catch a bus back to Texas.
Kids are running around without shoes, without sweaters. “How are we going to survive winter here?” Yessika Karolina Badell, 35, asked another mother in line.
A migrant family gets ready to spend the cold night in their tent outside D1.
“We’re afraid of what tomorrow will feel like,” the mother said. pic.twitter.com/7lFsblXWAZ
— Laura N. Rodríguez Presa (@LAURA_N_ROD) October 31, 2023
Venezuela is a Communist country with a repressive government. Its economy is prostrate, thanks to corruption and typical Communist mismanagement. There are no jobs, little food, and few opportunities to better one’s station in life.
I don’t blame these wretched people for wanting to come. I blame Biden for allowing it — especially allowing this mass migration to happen in chaos and incompetence.
Speaking of incompetence, Chicago’s Mayor Brandon Johnson is adrift in this crisis.
“With colder weather upon us, we are at an increasingly critical point in this humanitarian endeavor. To protect new arrivals and unhoused Chicagoans from falling temperatures, the city is collaborating with external partners, volunteers and mutual aid groups to provide blankets, coats, and other much-needed items,” he said. “Sixteen warming buses are being provided by the CTA at the landing location, and 16 police district locations from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m., while the city works to expand the number of available buses.”
Is “warming buses” the best he can do? Oh, he’s also got a plan to erect huge tents — presumably with heaters — to keep the migrants from freezing.
Where is Joe Biden?
The city still has no clear timeline for when new brick-and-mortar shelters will open for the more than 3,000 migrants who are awaiting shelter, with more arriving from border cities every day. With each new shelter consideration, Mayor Brandon Johnson’s office receives major pushback from aldermen and residents, as well as resistance to his controversial plan to erect heated base camps to protect migrants from the fast-approaching winter.
On Monday night, as the temperature began to fall at the 1st District police station on the Near South Side, children with pink noses and eyes teary from the wind shivered as they ran around without shoes; some without sweaters. Parents prepared tents by tying layers of black plastic bags or a tarp over them.
Some religious groups and churches from outside Chicago showed up last night with some blankets and children’s clothing, including leaders from Jesus Chicago and Christian Hills Church.
“However you feel about anything, these are souls and they’re humans,” said Pete Les, from Jesus Chicago.
Indeed. You might want to wish them away or advocate kicking them out of the country. It’s too late for that. They’re here, they’re asking for asylum, and their cases need to be heard. It’s not only U.S. law, it’s international law as well.
And since this is the United States of America, children should not freeze, go hungry, or go without shelter, whether they’re citizens or non-citizens.
At least, that’s the kind of country we were the last time I looked.