Chicago mayor says city returning park to the public after using them to house illegal immigrants

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The City of Chicago will return five parks to the public this week after using them to temporarily house illegal immigrants – a move that had irked many residents. 

The office of Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson said, beginning this Saturday, the city will “decompress” temporary shelters from five park district facilities. Once all immigrants are transitioned to another shelter, the city’s Park District will begin the process of restoring the parks for the public to use. 

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson gives an update on migrant issues at City Hall on Jan. 29, 2024, in Chicago. (Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

The mayor’s office said immigrants from Gage Park, the Broadway Armory Park, Brands Park, Leone Park, and Piotrowski Park, will be moved to nearby shelters over the coming weeks, “minimizing disruptions with schooling and work.” 

Mayor Johnson said he was “proud” of his administration’s efforts and those of other Chicagoans who “stepped up to welcome new arrivals by providing shelter in our Park District field houses at a time when this was clearly needed.” 


“We are grateful to the alderpersons and communities who have embraced new neighbors with open arms, and we are pleased that these park facilities will be transitioned back to their intended purpose in time for summer programming,” Johnson said in a statement.

The news comes days after the mayor touted the city has being “open” and “accommodating” to illegal immigrants. But he qualified that the current situation was “unsustainable” absent federal intervention. 

Migrants and their belongings

Migrants and their belongings are seen outside Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Oak Park on Nov. 1, 2023, where they were being given shelter. (Getty Images)

He blamed Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for busing migrants to the sanctuary city. Earlier this year, he argued that Abbott had been “attacking” cities run by Black leaders with waves of migrants.


The Republican governor has been bussing illegal immigrants to progressive-run cities for nearly two years to draw attention to the crisis at the southern border. 

Fox News Digital’s Michael Dorgan contributed to this report.

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