The situation at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago has become increasingly concerning as hundreds of migrants have been living in crowded conditions, with limited medical care and security. Privacy is minimal, with makeshift curtains providing the only separation between individuals. This haphazard shelter setup raises both public health and safety concerns.
Chicago has been grappling with a migrant crisis, with around 14,000 migrants, many from Venezuela, arriving recently. The city has already allocated over $250 million to address this issue. Last month, Chicago signed a $29.4 million contract with a private security firm to create winterized camps for migrants. These tents must accommodate anywhere from 250 to 1,400 migrants and will be built, staffed, and operated by the private firm.
Chicago’s Democratic Mayor Brandon Johnson faced resistance when he asked city council members to find space in their wards for large migrant tents. Some cities, like New York City, have also been dealing with an influx of migrants. NYC has struggled to process approximately 113,000 migrants who arrived since last summer. They attempted to set up tent shelters but encountered issues, including flooding.
Other cities, such as Boston and Atlantic City, have rejected the idea of housing migrants in airports due to concerns about security, feeding, and educating them, as well as the lack of infrastructure to provide care. The situation at O’Hare and other major cities highlights the challenges posed by the ongoing migrant crisis and the need for comprehensive solutions.