A group of 38 migrants were dropped off by bus at the Fox River Grove Metra station early Saturday morning before being sent off to Chicago later in the morning. | Photo: Nick Rusin

After busloads of migrants were dropped off over the weekend in Fox River Grove and other suburbs, state officials announced Illinois will be paying for hotels for the migrants.

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) announced on Sunday they would be standing up hotel rooms to house families in response to a recent influx of asylum seeker arrivals from Texas.

State officials say Texas Governor Greg Abbott has sent an “unprecedented number” of migrants to Illinois in recent days with no coordination or advanced notice.

The state made approximately 30 hotel rooms available Saturday evening with the remaining hotel rooms for up to 200 people coming available Sunday.

The IDHS is working with the City of Chicago to identify hotel spaces and the city is providing transportation.

Those in hotels will be moved to a former CVS in Little Village when construction of that shelter is completed in January. Additional shelter sites are being explored and work is underway.

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A group of 38 migrants were dropped off by bus at the Fox River Grove Metra station early Saturday morning before being sent off to Chicago later in the morning. | Photo: Nick Rusin

“IDHS continues to welcome our new neighbors with support services and assistance with work-permit applications, which will ultimately hasten their journey to self-sufficiency,” said Dulce Quintero, IDHS Secretary Designate.

 

Funding for the hotels will come from the additional $160 million that Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced in November to address the ongoing crisis by the arrival of over 30,000 migrants from the U.S. Southern Border.

The funding builds on $478 million in state funding that has been provided or committed to the asylum seeker response over fiscal years 2023 and 2024.

Just after midnight Saturday, a group of 38 migrants were transported from Texas to McHenry County where they were dropped off at the Metra station in Fox River Grove

The individuals were told they had arrived in Chicago and disembarked from their bus.

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Police officers responded and provided the stranded migrants with access to a warming shelter, ensuring “some safety and comfort throughout the night,” village officials said.

The village said arrangements facilitated by accompanying guides were made for Metra train tickets.

The migrants continued their journey from Fox River Grove to Chicago on the train by 7 a.m. Saturday.

A group of 38 migrants were dropped off by bus at the Fox River Grove Metra station early Saturday morning before being sent off to Chicago later in the morning. | Photo: Nick Rusin

Village officials say they have been in communication with the McHenry County Emergency Management Agency concerning the incident and will continue to coordinate with them regarding the potential for future migrant transports.

The village said they are not the only municipality in the area dealing with these types of situations.

Several other communities have encountered “similar challenges,” which highlights the need for a coordinated regional approach to ensure the safety and well-being of migrants and residents, the village said in a statement.

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“The Village’s primary objective remains steadfast: ensuring the safety of any migrants brought to our community and facilitating their secure transition to Chicago, where appropriate resources are available,” the village said.

“The Village of Fox River Grove remains committed to upholding the values of compassion, safety, and community. The Village will continue to work diligently with all relevant stakeholders to address this incident and implement measures that prioritize the well-being of everyone involved,” the statement added.