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Will County Coordinating with Municipalities and State on Texas Bus Arrivals
Mike Theodore

Will County Coordinating with Municipalities and State on Texas Bus Arrivals

 

The Will County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) is working to provide information and coordinate with municipalities and state agencies as the Chicagoland region is experiencing an increase in buses transporting asylum-seekers from the State of Texas.

“Our municipalities have seen an increase in buses from Texas disembarking passengers at Metra stations and other locations throughout the county,” said Will County EMA Director Allison Anderson. “We are working to coordinate information between public safety agencies, the State of Illinois, and the City of Chicago. Our priority is ensuring humane transportation of asylum-seekers to the official Chicago landing zone.”

An official landing zone for asylum-seekers is being operated by the City of Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communication at 800 S. Des Plaines Avenue, where the City is coordinating with the State of Illinois to provide shelter while working to identify permanent placement. 

The increase in bus operators arriving in collar counties followed a City of Chicago ordinance adopted on December 13 that impounds unscheduled buses that arrive at certain times. Bus operators from the State of Texas have begun targeting suburban Metra stations as drop-off locations for asylum-seekers seeking to reach the nearest landing zone, located in the City of Chicago.

“We appreciate the open lines of communication between our local public safety leaders, the Metra Police Department, and other partners during the response to this situation,” said County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant. “County government will continue working with the state and the City of Chicago on gathering the latest information, along with advocating for the federal government to pressure Texas officials to begin providing information on planned bus arrivals.”

Will County EMA will continue providing information and support to local governments throughout the Holiday weekend. Due to the lack of coordination and information from the State of Texas, there is no clear indication of the number of buses that might be arriving in Will County in the near future.

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