Winter has come early to Chicago, with freezing temperatures and snowfall making life difficult for both long-time residents and newly arrived migrants. Since August 2022, over 20,000 migrants have been sent to Chicago from southern border states, seeking a better life. However, the reality of the city’s harsh winters is quickly becoming apparent to them.
With temperatures expected to drop into the upper 20s this week, and more snow and ice on the way, many migrants are starting to question their decision to come to Chicago. The challenges of surviving in the city’s overcrowded shelters and the lack of job opportunities have made life even more difficult. In fact, more than 2,000 migrants have received monetary aid from the state of Illinois to relocate to other states.
The experience of Michael Castejon and his family, who arrived in Chicago from Venezuela, is emblematic of the struggles faced by many migrants. After enduring a long and dangerous journey, they found themselves sleeping on the floor of a police station and in crowded shelters. Despite their hopes for a better future, they were unable to find stable employment and eventually decided to return home.
The recent colder weather was the final straw for the Castejon family and many others. Pressed by the cold and the difficult living conditions, they have reached out to organizations like Catholic Charities to help them find a way back home. The state of Illinois has allocated $160 million for migrant care, including the creation of tent shelters at police stations and O’Hare International Airport.
While the plight of migrants in Chicago is a complex issue, it highlights the stark contrast between the brutal winters of the city and the milder climates they left behind. It’s difficult for newcomers to fully grasp the extreme conditions they will face during the winter months. As a lifelong Chicagoan, I understand why the migrants are reconsidering their choices and seeking a more hospitable environment.
As winter settles in, it’s clear that both long-time residents and new arrivals will have to endure the challenges ahead. Hopefully, the support and resources provided by the state will help alleviate some of the difficulties faced by the migrants. However, the harsh reality of Chicago winters is a reminder that the search for a better life often comes with its own set of hardships.
Q: How many migrants have been sent to Chicago since August 2022?
A: Over 20,000 migrants have been sent to Chicago from southern border states since August 2022.
Q: How many migrants are currently housed in shelters in Chicago?
A: According to city data, there are 12,000 men, women, and children housed in shelters in Chicago, with an additional 2,200 migrants living in police stations and at O’Hare International Airport, waiting for available beds.
Q: How many migrants have received monetary aid to relocate to other states?
A: More than 2,000 migrants have received monetary aid from the state of Illinois through Catholic Charities to relocate to other states.
Q: How much money has the state of Illinois allocated for migrant care?
A: The state of Illinois has allocated $160 million for migrant care, bringing the total state spending to $478 million to support migrants in Chicago.
Q: What weather conditions are expected in Chicago?
A: Chicago is expected to experience dropping temperatures in the upper 20s, along with snowfall and icy conditions in the coming weeks and months.