“I think it’s just to cause more problems, to cause more confusion,” said Michele Carney, a volunteer with the nonprofit Nuevos Vecinos, as she picked up a surplus of donated items in Wilmette that she intended to bring back to migrants in the city. “They’re driving past Chicago to get all the way up to Wilmette. Why?”
In Naperville, a prosperous suburb of Chicago that is the fourth-largest city in Illinois, one City Council member has pushed back on the notion that any public funds should be used to support asylum seekers.
Josh McBroom, who describes himself as politically conservative, dryly suggested at a recent council meeting that Naperville residents who are in favor of helping migrant families were welcome to host them in their own homes.
In an interview, Mr. McBroom said that no one has taken him up on his idea so far.
Instead, he said, the unspoken wish by many residents is for migrants to leave Naperville as quickly as they arrive. “Get on the train, go to Chicago, nice to meet you but keep moving,” he said, voicing what he believes to be a dominant attitude in town.
Ida Fiore, a volunteer from Lake Forest, Ill., who has helped organize care packages for migrants, said that ever since a busload of migrants arrived in nearby Highland Park in December, city officials and residents have worked to gather supplies for them.