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HomeGeneralPacione-Zayas Accuses Buses of Dropping Migrants in Secret Locations to Avoid Chicago’s...

Pacione-Zayas Accuses Buses of Dropping Migrants in Secret Locations to Avoid Chicago’s New Penalties

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A picture of Cristina Pacione-Zayas
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In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson’s deputy chief of staff, Cristina Pacione-Zayas, faults bus drivers transporting immigrants into Chicago for the migrant crisis in the state.

She alleged that the bus drivers are dropping illegal migrants off in secret locations to avoid fines from the city. Also, she said the drivers are not communicating where they are dropping migrants to avoid city penalties.

The influx stems from the effort of Republican Governors trying to show the seriousness of the border problem. Consequently, they sent buses of asylum seekers to Democrat-controlled states and sanctuary cities.

While some think it’s an inappropriate approach, others support the move. Also, Republicans argue the action is necessary for what border states are dealing with due to the surge of migrants.

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ALSO READ: Chicago Suburb to Oust Immigrants From Hotel and YMCA in Policy Change

While Chicago has been a sanctuary state for undocumented immigrants, the state is battling the migrant crisis. Consequently, the city of Chicago filed over 50 lawsuits. The lawsuits attempted to hold bus companies accountable for shuttling illegal immigrants to the already overburdened city amid winter conditions.

However, bus companies responded by continuing to transport migrants but no longer communicating or using established dropoff spots. They reportedly kept shuttling immigrants to various spots around the city. However, they did not stop at shelters or police stations where they could get help.

In addition, the drivers cut off all communication with city officials. Consequently, the migrants wander with no direction, looking for shelter. During the interview, Pacione-Zayas revealed the lack of communication directly correlates with the city’s new penalties for erring bus owners.

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According to reports, buses face “seizure and impoundment” for unloading migrant passengers outside of designated hours and locations. The rule applies with or without a permit to do so.

POLL — Should the U.S. Government Create a Path to Citizenship for Undocumented Immigrants?

Furthermore, erring bus owners can face $3,000 fines in addition to towing and storage fees. Consequently, Pacione-Zayas suspects bus companies are finding other ways to get migrants into the city. 

According to city reports, more than 25,900 migrants have arrived in Chicago since August 2022. “Obviously, they’re trying every way to work around this,” Pacione-Zayas said. “Since we’ve instituted the ordinance and the amendment, we have lost all communication with the border.”

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The deputy chief of staff added that the border states aren’t sending any notices. In addition, Pacione-Zayas revealed that, recently, Chicago officials have found migrants in various spots around the city.

She also revealed that the migrants alleged that their bus drivers gave them train tickets to get to Chicago. “Bus companies are facilitating their transfer into the city,” she said. “It sends us scurrying.”

ALSO READ: Chicago Residents Upset about Migrant Crisis Vow to Disrupt National Democratic Convention

Pacione-Zayas lamented the lack of communication with those transporting and sending the migrants to Chicago. “When they come without notice and coordination, it starts to undermine what we’re trying to do,” she said.

While it remains a mystery where the drivers are dropping off the new arrivals, Chicago suburbs come to mind. According to reports, several buses arrived at train stations in Cicero, Illinois, and Rosemont, Illinois, last week.

Consequently, both suburbs are taking action to prevent buses from returning. Cicero has approved a measure to fine bus companies $750 per person for letting out homeless immigrants. 

With the increasing numbers of migrants, Mayor Brandon Johnson allocated $150 million from the recent budget to sheltering illegal immigrants. However, residents condemned the move, arguing that the state can’t afford the cost. 

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