The city of Chicago has a lot of issues going on right now, from rampant violence to high unemployment. Now adding to this mixture is the recent discovery that the federal government shipped 429 unaccompanied minor refugee children to the Chicago area. The children are under the care of Heartland Alliance, through a grant from the Department of Health and Human Services. The Heartland Alliance has its roots in the early years of Chicago’s history. According to its website, it has been working in the city of Chicago for nearly 125 years serving the marginalized of society.
However, U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) is more concerned about the children’s criminal history. He released a press statement on July 10 that says in part, “I just learned that 429 unaccompanied minors from the Mexican border crisis are now in Chicago and currently in Health and Human Services custody, but our State Department is unable to confirm if any of these individuals has a criminal record or background… If any of these individuals has a criminal record in their home country, our government owes it to the American people to facilitate a sharing of records and reassure our nation that these individuals pose no threat.”
So far, at least 319 of the unaccompanied minors have been placed with family members and others at multiple locations in the Chicago area.