Migrants from Texas border arrive in Elk Grove Village Saturday with short official notice

Scrambling to do their own due diligence ahead of the sudden arrival of about 90 migrants from the Mexico-Texas border Saturday, Elk Grove Village officials expressed frustration with how other government agencies had handled the situation.

"While the village is now well-informed about what is taking place, I cannot tell you how disappointing it is to see the haphazard way in which this has been handled by county, state, and city of Chicago officials," Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson said in a statement.

"The village received no advanced notice that the migrants would be arriving here," Johnson added. "We received no information about when the bus would arrive, where the migrants would stay or whose responsibility it was to provide food or medical care. Only after we began making phone calls and asking tough questions did we get the answers we were looking for."

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Thursday accused Texas Gov. Greg Abbott of being "wholly uncooperative" in communicating about the busloads of immigrants Abbott has sent to Chicago from Texas, the Sun-Times reported.

Johnson told the Daily Herald while he was initially told it was Abbott who had come up with Elk Grove Village as the migrants' destination, he subsequently learned it was the city of Chicago's decision. He suggested Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was responsible for the same lack of communication for which she's been blaming Abbott.

"Mayors have an unwritten code that we may disagree but we always work together," Johnson said. "She never reached out, never called."

Johnson said the nation's third largest city has blocks with more hotel rooms than he has in his entire village to house the migrants.

Elk Grove Village officials were informed by the state at about 1:30 p.m. Friday that they should expect the arrival of a bus carrying migrants from Texas later that afternoon. But that arrival was delayed until Saturday afternoon when the village began making inquiries to get a better understanding of the situation.

"After having spent the last 24 hours asking tough questions and getting honest answers, we are satisfied that the federal agencies tasked with performing health and safety screening on the migrants are doing their job," Johnson said in his statement. "We have confidence in their ability to manage this situation capably. While the village has no official role in managing this situation, we will continue to stay in very close contact with these agencies to ensure that any concerns we have are addressed fully and in a timely manner."

The migrants - whose presence Johnson was told has been deemed legal by federal authorities - were dropped off at the La Quinta Hotel on Oakton Street in Elk Grove Village. While some are expected to stay there for a while, others may find shelter elsewhere.

Before the migrants arrived, Johnson said the hotel parking lot was filled with cars from inside and outside the state driven by people who'd come in advance to pick up some of them.

In a robocall to residents Saturday, Johnson reassured them that the village was prepared for the arrival of the migrants and would continue to closely monitor the situation.

"Job number one for us is ensuring the health, safety and welfare of our residents and our entire community," he said in a statement to the media. "We will stay on top of this situation on their behalf, hold responsible agencies accountable, and manage this issue in a way that keeps our residents safe and well-informed."

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