Migrant families say Rogers Park motel kicked them out after missing curfew by 7 minutes: ‘We don’t have anywhere to go’

One woman who had been asked to leave said the families had nowhere else to go, but the local alderperson said they had been offered an alternative place to stay for the night.

SHARE Migrant families say Rogers Park motel kicked them out after missing curfew by 7 minutes: ‘We don’t have anywhere to go’
Alejandra Leon, along with her family and another family, at Sheridan Road and Chase Avenues Saturday evening after they were kicked out of a motel contracted by the city of Chicago to house migrants. Their offense? Missing a curfew by seven minutes.

Alejandra Leon, along with her family and another family, at Sheridan Road and Chase Avenues Saturday evening after they were kicked out of a motel contracted by the city of Chicago to house migrants. Their offense? Missing a curfew by seven minutes.

Violet Miller/Sun-Times

UPDATE: MIGRANTS KICKED OUT OF ROGERS PARK MOTEL FOR MISSING CURFEW ARE SLEEPING IN TENTS

Two families say they were told to leave a Rogers Park motel set up by the city of Chicago to house migrants after they missed curfew by minutes.

Saturday evening, the two families sat with their belongings at Sheridan Road and Chase Avenue as their children played with dolls and said they had nowhere else to turn.

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“We don’t have anywhere to go,” Alejandra Leon told a Chicago Sun-Times reporter through a translator. “We’re going to sleep here until they help us.”

But Ald. Maria Hadden (49th) said she had been told by a city official Saturday night that both families had been offered an alternative place to stay for the night and turned it down in favor of remaining outside the motel.

Hadden said she did not know details of the city’s offer of alternative housing, whether the families could eventually return to the motel or would be provided other longterm housing.

Employees of the motel directed questions to a city spokeswoman who did not respond to a request for information Saturday night.

Migrants staying at the Super 8 motel at Sheridan Road and Chase Avenue in Rogers Park walk past two migrant families who said they were kicked out for missing a curfew by seven minutes.

Migrants staying at the Super 8 motel at Sheridan Road and Chase Avenue in Rogers Park walk past two migrant families who said they were kicked out for missing a curfew by seven minutes.

Violet Miller / Sun-Times

Leon, 30, said the two families were asked to leave the motel around 2 p.m. Saturday because they had missed an 11 p.m. curfew the night before by seven minutes after they took their children out for pizza.

Leon said they had gone out because the food they had been given was “old” and had made the children sick.

“Perhaps if we had been [told to leave] for something more serious,” Leon said. “We don’t want anything to do with those people after they were so unfair to us.”

Leon said that, in the nearly three weeks she had stayed at the motel, other migrants have missed the curfew without consequence.

Hadden said the curfew requirements had been clearly communicated to people staying at the shelter and were strictly enforced to keep the people staying at and working at the shelter safe.

Hadden said continuing to stay on the street outside the motel would not be an option for the families, noting that it was private property.

“Even in a place like Rogers Park, which has been really welcoming ... everyone needs to be able to feel safe and welcome to be in their own community,” she said.

City Hall contracted with the owners of the Super 8 motel to provide housing for 250 migrants, with a focus on families with young children, through December, Block Club Chicago reported.

The city has struggled to find housing for migrants, with many finding initial shelter on the floors of police stations, since Texas Gov. Greg Abbott began sending busloads of asylum seekers to Chicago last spring.

In June, officials announced that as many as five new shelters for migrants with a combined capacity of nearly 2,500 would open — including a former Marine Corps Reserve Center and Broadway Armory Park in Edgewater.

Since last August, more than 11,500 migrants have arrived in Chicago, according to city officials, with, on average, about 50 arriving every day.

The overwhelming majority of the new arrivals have come from Venezuela, fleeing violence and economic collapse. Others have come from Colombia, Ecuador, Nicaragua and even Russia.

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