Over 350 migrants were flown from Texas to Rockford overnight and bused to Chicago area Metra stations, including Highland Park, on Sunday morning.
The City of Rockford said that city and county officials were alerted on Saturday that a plane carrying migrants from Texas was scheduled to land at Chicago Rockford International Airport Saturday evening.
Chicago recently approved an ordinance cracking down on buses that drop off migrants in its city.
Texas has since redirected buses and planes to other nearby cities for migrant drop-offs.
The plane landed around 1 a.m. Sunday and the plane off-loaded the migrants to awaiting buses at the airport.
“Once the plane landed in Rockford, those onboard were offloaded and immediately boarded buses,” the city said in a statement Sunday morning.
The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office and Rockford Police Department stood by to ensure the process went smoothly.
Sheriff’s deputies escorted the buses to the McHenry County line. City officials said the buses did not make any stops along the way to McHenry County.
355 migrants were on the plane from Texas that landed in Rockford. Officials said they are not aware of any other flights from Texas coming into Rockford.
“However, the Texas Department of Emergency Management is managing this situation. We will remain in contact with them,” the statement said.
Rockford officials said if more flights come into the airport they will activate their local Emergency Operations Center to coordinate logistics and planning to “ensure the safety of all involved throughout this process.”
The buses were supposed to travel to Chicago’s designated zone for migrant arrivals but the buses reportedly did not arrive at the location.
Metra police reported migrants were being dropped off by buses throughout the Chicago suburbs Sunday morning at Metra stations.
The migrants, who had paid fares, boarded Metra trains bound for Union Station and Ogilvie Transportation Center in Chicago.
The bus drops occurred in Highland Park, West Chicago, Wheeling, Lombard, Wheaton, Glen Ellyn and Elgin.
54 migrants were estimated to have been dropped off at a Highland Park Metra station. They boarded a Union Pacific North line train around 7:40 a.m.