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Chicago says 34 residents will exit migrant shelters in the city Sunday

The City of Chicago announced Friday that 34 people will be leaving migrant shelters in the city Sunday, after receiving extensions from their originally planned releases earlier this year.

“Our city is committed to compassion,” Mayor Brandon Johnson said in a statement. “By encouraging resettlement while also providing case-specific extensions with a focus on health and safety, we are advancing a pathway to stability and self-sufficiency.”

Chicago, one of the many cities across the U.S. housing an influx of migrants, has sheltered and later released 14,700 people due to resettlement. More than 5,000 people have been reunited with family and friends in different states, Johnson’s release said.

The people expected to be released Sunday have received case-specific extensions, some that include extensions granted for families and children. Migrants released from the shelters have the option to return to the “Landing Zone,” where they will be reprocessed and placed in shelter again if beds are available.

Still, the city is struggling to keep up with the influx of migrants. Chicago has implemented increased shelter time for many migrants after putting more resources into its resettlement services and case management.

“While we know Chicago’s limited resources cannot meet the full scale of need across the New Arrivals Mission,” his statement said. “We are constantly evaluating options that will lead to better care for all Chicagoans.”

The city is one of several experiencing an influx of migrants after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) began sending buses and planes to Democratic cities in order to lessen the effects of immigration on his border state.

Johnson has criticized Abbott heavily for the decision, calling it reckless to send thousands of migrants to the sanctuary cities across the United States. Local, state and federal officials have had very little warning of Abbott’s busing program, and Johnson has said the Texas governor is sowing “seeds of chaos” by sending more buses.

According to Johnson’s release, Chicago has announced two additional considerations for migrants in shelters. Families with children who are in shelters will receive 30-day extensions, which may be renewed up to three times through June. Families who qualify for asylum programs are also eligible for extension options.

“Today’s announcement means about 4,500 additional individuals with shelter exit dates originally planned for March, April, and May will have options for extensions,” the release said.

Chicago is also requiring people who stay in its facilities to be vaccinated for measles, mumps and rubella after an outbreak. If residents get sick before their release date, they are also granted an extension due to a medical quarantine.

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