Chicago, IL

Chicago's Migrant Arrivals Have Slowed, but Local Aid Groups Continue to Support

Ceebla Cuud
Chicago Mayor Lightfoot and the Migrants from TexasScreenshot from Twitter

Local organizations claim that the number of migrants traveling from Texas to Chicago has decreased. However, Chicago is still looking for methods to help the 3,667 migrants already here.

"They have had a very frightening experience, both at the border and getting to the border, as well as the bus travel to the city," said Nubia Willman, chief engagement officer for the mayor's office.

The city and state have put in place infrastructure to help migrants feel safe and secure before continuing their journey. Migrants receive aid for immediate necessities, including medical care, shelter, and food from city, county, state, and local groups as soon as they arrive.

Erendira Rendon, vice president of Immigrant Justice at the Resurrection Project, said, "People will eventually have questions about their legal status and how they might find a job.

Rendon said that until this point, migrants had been provided a legal orientation. "People are being informed of their rights and shown how to update their addresses with Immigration and Customs Enforcement by participating in "ICE check-ins," as Rendon put it.

Rendon thinks that there needs to be a more thorough screening process in which "each person sits down with an attorney and tries to figure out what their legal options are."

Without any information about when the influx of migrants will end, Mayor Lori Lightfoot has asked the city's alderpeople to look for empty buildings such as warehouses and big box stores that could shelter the refugees.

Residents protested against what they thought was a plan by the city to put refugees in the closed Woodlawn School.

To accommodate the expected growth, "we put out this call simply to make sure that everyone know that we are looking to sort of up the next level of a larger, bigger area," Willman said.

"Illinois is a friendly state," said a statement issued by the city in response to the influx of new residents. "We are dedicated to aiding each individual as well as each family by offering human services in a manner that is respectful and dignified."

Most migrants will be subjected to one of the harshest seasons they have ever experienced due to the falling temperatures and the gradual approach of winter in Chicago.

The city has added outerwear such as coats and sweaters to its Rapid Response wish list to safeguard the safety of the migrants.

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