Chicago to extend migrant shelter stay limits over concerns about long-term housing, employment

Chicago — Mayor Brandon Johnson said that Chicago will again extend asylum seekers' 60-day shelter stay restriction, days before a deadline that could have expelled roughly 2,000 migrants.

Johnson said Monday the goal is to allow individuals more time to settle and find jobs. About 14,000 migrants staying in the city's 28 shelters, which include warehouses and park department buildings, get 30 to 60 extra days under the new policy.

"Our plan for temporary emergency shelter was never meant as a long-term housing solution, but we want to give every person and family that has come to our city enough time to process their work authorization, find housing, and start a new life in our great city," Johnson said at a City Hall news conference

Chicago, New York, and Denver have little shelter as they try to accommodate and care for more bus and aircraft refugees. Mayors also want federal aid.

Chicago has struggled to locate room and has used police stations, airports, and public buses as temporary alternatives. City authorities stated 30- or 60-day extensions will be depending on migrants' leaving dates. Mid-March will be the earliest departure notice.

Nearly 2,000 individuals who were scheduled to leave on Thursday will receive 60 more days. City authorities said that fewer than half had applied for rental assistance to live independently. New migrants in shelters receive 60 days. Special accommodations will be made for pregnant or unwell persons. Arrivals must reapply for shelters after eviction.

Over 35,000 migrants have been deported to Chicago since 2022 under Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. About 11,500 have been relocated under a state program, while 4,100 have left the shelter after finding friends and relatives.

Last week, a group of aldermen asked Johnson to repeal the city's shelter boundaries out of concern for new immigrants' health and safety, especially in winter. The December death of a shelter youngster who had a medical issue has also raised concerns about shelter conditions.