Waukegan, North Chicago, Grayslake and Highwood have passed ordinances that will allow the towns to impound buses and fine operators if they drop off migrants without approval.
Grayslake Mayor Rhett Taylor introduced an ordinance that requires buses that drop off migrants in Grayslake to have insurance, pay fees and taxes, provide a manifest and submit an application at least seven days in advance.
“This is done for the safety of those passengers. Some accounts that you may read across the suburban area have had instances where passengers have been dropped on the sides of the road,” Taylor said during a Tuesday board meeting.
The mayor said the village has no temporary housing for the migrants, most of whom want to go to Chicago.
The board unanimously passed the ordinance within minutes.
The Waukegan City Council also unanimously passed a similar ordinance during its Tuesday evening
The Waukegan ordinance imposes penalties of $25 to $750 per passenger for unscheduled drop-offs in the city. It also gives the city the ability to impound the buses.
On December 21, a charter bus of 39 migrants coming from San Antonio, Texas showed up at the Waukegan Metra station early in the morning.
The City of Waukegan and Lake County Emergency Management Agency resources responded and provided support services to direct the bus to the official destination for migrant arrivals in Chicago.
“The risks to the individual passengers being dropped off with no food, shelter, money or resources at unscheduled stops in and around the City of Waukegan is grave. The temperatures have now plummeted and will continue to remain cold for several more months,” city officials said.
“The bus and transportation companies dropping off passengers in such a manner tend to do so under the color of night, leaving the disembarked passengers in even more danger, as the Metra does not run at all hours of the night from Waukegan to Chicago. This leaves the migrant passengers left at the Waukegan Metra Station exposed to the elements, without adequate resources,” city officials added.
City councils in Highwood and North Chicago, along with the Buffalo Grove Village Board, also passed similar ordinances during their Tuesday board meetings.
Chicago recently implemented an ordinance curbing unscheduled bus drop-offs of migrants from Texas.
Since Chicago’s ordinance went into effect, buses are now being diverted from the city to the suburbs.
Waukegan, Highland Park and Libertyville recently received unscheduled bus drop-offs at their Metra train stations.