Illinois officials send 90 migrants to another suburban Chicago town with little notice

Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson said he was 'disappointed' in Chicago and state officials

Another suburban Chicago town received a busload of migrants who were originally dropped off at the city's Union Station.

The migrants arrived at Union Station after being bused from Texas, according to FOX 32, and were then taken to suburban Elk Grove Village.

Elk Grove Village officials said they were informed by state officials at 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 9 that the town would be receiving a busload of 90 migrants on Sept. 10.

In a press release, Elk Grove Village officials said that they received "no prior notification" of the migrants' arrival, and also said that they received "no direction from state, county or City of Chicago authorities with respect to how municipalities are expected to handle this unanticipated situation."


Migrants arriving in Chicago.

Migrants arriving in Chicago. (Fox 32)

After Elk Grove Village officials pressed the state for answers, the busload of migrants, which was originally set to arrive on Sept. 9, was delayed for one day.

Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson said in a robocall to residents that he's "disappointed" in the "haphazard" way that the situation has been handled by officials from the state and City of Chicago.

"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.  The Village received no advanced notice that the migrants would be arriving here.  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.  Only after we began making phone calls and asking tough questions did we get the answers we were looking for," Johnson said.

After pressing for answers, Johnson said that he's satisfied that "the federal agencies tasked with performing health and safety screening on the migrants are doing their job."


Mayor Lori Lightfoot introduces Jazmine Sullivan during 2022 Lollapalooza day one at Grant Park on July 28, 2022, in Chicago, Illinois

Mayor Lori Lightfoot introduces Jazmine Sullivan during 2022 Lollapalooza day one at Grant Park on July 28, 2022, in Chicago, Illinois (Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

The migrants will be staying at a La Quinta Hotel in Elk Grove Village, according to officials.

This isn't the first time that migrants were bused from Chicago to the city's suburbs.

64 migrants were taken from Chicago to a Hampton Inn hotel in Burr Ridge, Illinois, on Sept. 7, and Mayor Gary Grasso, a Republican, said that he received no notification from city or state officials.

"I’m glad that the American dream is still alive for a lot of people as it was for my grandparents when they came here and for most people that are in this country. So very happy for them," Grasso said. "But unhappy that nobody from the city, from the state called and told me or my village administrator or any of our elected officials that this was happening."


Burr Ridge Mayor Gary Grasso (Left) and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (Right).

Burr Ridge Mayor Gary Grasso (Left) and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (Right). (FOX 32 and Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Grasso told Fox News that the migrants are being used as "political pawns" by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker.

"As is my understanding, this hotel, about a year ago, when refugees came in from Afghanistan, apparently accepted several either through faith-based or charitable organizations, but now the state assumes they can just send migrants… this isn’t about them, the migrants is fine, they’re being used as political pawns by the governor and mayor," Grasso said.

Jordan Abudayyeh, press secretary for Pritzker, told WGN that it's interesting local officials are complaining about the issue of migrants being bused to suburbs.

"The state is working with our partners at the City of Chicago and Cook County along with advocacy organizations to welcome those seeking asylum in the United States and provide them stability as they work to build a new life in Illinois. The state has a prior relationship with the hotel being used in the suburbs and their staff has done amazing work welcoming refugees and asylum seekers before, so it is interesting that local officials are choosing this specific instance to gripe to the press about this specific group of asylum seekers that consists of about 30 families. Gov. Pritzker has made it clear that Illinois is [a] welcoming state and xenophobia has no home here," Abudayyeh said.