Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a former Obama administration chief of staff, wants to expand the city’s efforts to house young illegal immigrants from Central America, reportedly proposing to shelter an additional 1,000 of them by year’s end.
“The influx of unaccompanied child migrants is a growing humanitarian crisis that we can no longer ignore,” said Emanuel, according to The Chicago Tribune. “While we have our own challenges at home, we cannot turn our backs on children that are fleeing dangerous conditions.”
The mayor’s office says the federal government will pay for the youths’ shelter, education, health care, food, safety and social services.
However, officials are trying to get Chicago lawyers to provide free legal services for the youths, who arrived in hopes of staying with U.S. relatives but now face federal deportation hearings.