The Monday meeting of the Burr Ridge Mayor and Board of Trustees may have been a routine occasion, save for the information final week that round 64 Venezuelans had been staying in a Hampton Inn on the town.
Mostly, Mayor Gary Grasso mentioned, the problem was one of politics and fewer concerning the folks staying at a Hampton Inn.
According to Grasso, the folks, all refugees, all authorized, looking for asylum, and none costing the native taxpayers something, are awaiting extra everlasting housing. Even so, Grasso pushed back at the process if not at the migrants, noting that he had no thought Burr Ridge could be internet hosting 64 folks.
“We didn’t know that this was happening,” Grasso mentioned on Monday. He mentioned he didn’t know till a buddy of his from the DuPage Board of Health known as him to let him know asylum-seekers could be staying in a DuPage resort.
“This is not about the migrants,” Grasso mentioned. “They have been of perfect behavior. They are fleeing conditions that were almost as certainly as bad or worse than our ancestors were fleeing.”
He mentioned he was involved over well being and issues of safety for the group at massive.
“What did trouble me a lot is that I was not in a position, the board of trustees were not in a position, and the staff were not in a position to answer questions about whether there were any concerns of health, of whether there were any unaccompanied minors or whether they were illegal or legal,” Grasso mentioned.
He made it clear the folks would probably depart although any kids, within the meantime, could be eligible for placement in public faculties. That mentioned, Grasso additionally added that members of the Burr Ridge group have provided the folks employment, garments and meals — noting that Burr Ridge is a welcoming surroundings.
“I have been there twice and I have observed they’re all well-groomed and, as I said, well-behaved and I’ve been told there are not health issues.”
Grasso talked about state well being staff are with the folks continually, ought to there be any outbreaks of any diseases. But, up to now, they’re high-quality and the chief of police agreed they posed no hazard to the group.
Grasso mentioned the problem is one of politics. The governor’s office implied that suburban Chicago communities had been xenophobic for not welcoming authorized, momentary — if international — guests to their communities. Grasso and others bristled at this. One man from the viewers mentioned the governor ought to apologize to Burr Ridge.
The mayor mentioned that on Sunday, as he watched a soccer recreation, he bought a name from Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who was upset that he pushed back at housing 64 folks within the Hampton Inn. But, he added, she agreed he ought to have recognized the folks had been staying at the resort.
“After she calmed down, she admitted to me that we had every right to know in advance,” he mentioned. “She said that was not the city of Chicago’s fault, but that’s the state of Illinois’ fault as they had taken over.”
The state is, up to now, paying all of the payments for the 2 dozen households. Even so, Grasso mentioned he would have most popular discover from the governor’s office concerning the folks at the Hampton Inn. Grasso mentioned the village has a proper to find out about refugees who’re briefly staying on the town.
“We should be able to question, politely, and get a polite answer and not be disparaged,” he mentioned. “This is a diverse community and we are proud of our diversity.”
And once more, he emphasised he’s not in opposition to internet hosting the households.
“We will welcome this situation, and these people, because they are being used as pawns, in my opinion.”
The board agreed with Grasso’s position.
“I think we’re always open to welcoming new people to the village, but we should have been informed as we’re accountable to the residents,” mentioned Trustee Anita Mital.
Still, some residents had been skeptical concerning the 64 folks at the resort.
“I think everything you had to say, right here, right now, is lovely,” a lady mentioned. “But the way this world is, I do not have any more confidence in the federal government in the way things are going. How do we know it ends with the 64?”
Grasso mentioned he doubted extra refugees could be coming anytime quickly as he suspects his pushback could be sufficient to stymie any extra international ‘visitors.’
“In the Italian language, ‘basta.’ Enough,” Grasso mentioned. “Unless we hear in advance, there should be no more of such visitors to the village without confirming with me and the board and I don’t think that will happen again.”
Jesse Wright is a contract reporter for Pioneer Press.