KANKAKEE, IL – Between 40 to 50 migrants were allegedly misled by a bus driver early Thursday morning to believe they were in Chicago, only to find themselves abandoned in Kankakee County, Illinois.
According to the Kankakee County Sheriff’s Office, the incident unfolded early Thursday, following a nearly 30-hour bus journey from El Paso, Texas. The migrants, bound for Chicago, were left at a gas station near exit 308 on Interstate 57 around 7:30 AM. Calls came into the Sheriff’s Department alerting them of group’s of people walking along Interstate 57 and Route 45/52 following their departure from the bus.
Local law enforcement, including Kankakee City Police, Illinois State Police, and Kankakee County Sheriff’s deputies, responded promptly to relocate the migrants to safer locations. While some were fortunate to have family members pick them up, others remained at the drop-off point.
Area officials have reached out to the Sheriff’s Office in El Paso to investigate why the migrants were incorrectly dropped off in Kankakee County. Chicago, known as a sanctuary city, had law enforcement somewhat prepared for migrant arrivals, but this incident was not anticipated. Investigations are ongoing to understand the full circumstances and to prevent similar occurrences in the future.