Abracadabra! Migrant camp outside Chicago police station disappears as city aims to have all stations cleared by December 1

The Near North (18th) District Chicago police station is seen on November 12 (inset) and November 19. | Provided; CWBChicago

CHICAGO — The tents, chairs, boxes, tarps, crates, and, yes, the migrants that filled the sidewalk in front of the Near North (18th) District police station vanished over the weekend. A lot of garbage and two porta-potties are still there, but let’s accentuate the positive here.

A source familiar with the development said the 18th District camp was “decompressed” on Saturday. “Decompressed” is lingo for “moved elsewhere,” we’re told. Volunteers and some city employees worked to find new housing for the camp’s residents.

The city hopes to have all migrants out of every police station by the end of the month, according to our source. So far, so good.

As recently as last Sunday, the sidewalk in front of the station, 1160 North Larrabee, was jam-packed with migrant tents and belongings. Check out these before and after pictures:

Migrants living outside the 18th District police station on the Near North Side on November 12, 2023. | Provided
The sidewalk in front of the Near North (18th) District police station on November 19, 2023. | CWBChicago

Officials cleared out the migrant camp just a couple of days after one of its residents was stabbed and critically injured on Wednesday. However, the decision to relocate the camp was not related to the stabbing, our insider said.

Around 10 p.m. last Wednesday, a 25-year-old man was stabbed in the chest and back in front of the Near North station, according to CPD. In keeping with its common practice, CPD did not identify the victim as a migrant. He was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, initially listed in critical condition.

Since then, we’ve been told the man may have been stabbed while trying to steal another migrant’s phone. The man who stabbed him has not been seen since.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com