The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

City’s Response to Migrant Crisis Deepens Divisions

Oct 16, 2023

Amundsen Park, on Chicago’s far West Side, will not be converted into a temporary shelter for migrants. The City agreed to open the shelter across the street in a vacant building—but only after neighborhood residents loudly objected that putting the shelter in the park would displace sports and health programs for young people and the elderly.

Migrants have been arriving in Chicago, with over 18,000 coming on buses and planes from Texas since last August. More than 3,000 are camped out in the lobbies of police stations, waiting for a better place to stay. The migrants are largely asylum seekers from Venezuela, fleeing an economic and social crisis that is the result of a U.S. blockade of that country.

Yes, these migrants need support to help them find their footing in the city. But who believes the only way to house migrants is to move the youth football team? As one resident told a local paper: “We’re not against migrants.... We want to help them.... We just don’t want our programs taken away.”

The city government, when it makes these moves, plays right into the “Hunger Games” mentality that pits the migrants against other working-class Chicagoans. Chicago is a wealthy city, with lots of empty buildings available. Hell, there was one right across the street!