In the Roseland community on Chicago’s South Side, residents are concerned about plans to house as many as 1,400 illegals in a tent “base camp” in an empty grocery store parking lot.
Local Pastor Leonardo Gilbert brought residents together, in collaboration with Alderman Ronnie Mosley (21st), to air their concerns at a packed community meeting which, at times, became heated.
Residents expressed concerns about utilizing a site that has already had $15 million in state funds allocated to build a housing and retail development for Chicagoans.
Once again, illegals are being placed ahead of citizens.
“There’s a backlog of housing right now and people in this community needs housing,” said Abraham Lacy, president of the Far South Community Development Corporation.
Residents said they shouldn’t have to wait for resources like housing and parking space.
“I want to be clear it is not that we do not empathize with their situation has historically marginalized and oppressed people, but we are saying as a community that we will not continue to wait,” said another meeting attendee.
The project is expected to break ground in 2024 and its developer said even he doesn’t know the truth about what’s going on. The mayor asked each alderman to give him two to three sites in each ward to possibly house migrants. Mosley said he’s not aware of any sites in the 21st ward that work.
During his remarks, Mosley suggested that the tent base camp at the Rosalind location was “unlikely,” a remark that drew applause from the audience. Mosley reiterated, however, that ultimately the decision was up to Mayor Brandon Johnson and the owners of the site.
“To be clear, the decision is not necessarily one with the Aldermen.”
One resident told Mosley, “Take that back to the Mayor Brandon Johnson and tell him that your constituents said ‘No!’”
During a Q&A, one resident asked, “Are you telling us at the 115th site is off the table?”
Mosley responded, “Permanently? No.”