CHICAGO (WLS) -- Thousands of migrant students are now enrolled in Chicago Public Schools, and teachers say they need more resources to help deal with the new students.
Cameron Elementary School in Humboldt Park has enrolled close to 100 migrant students this year, on top of dozens who arrived last school year.
"It is the most challenging thing I have ever done in my life, and I've been doing this in this neighborhood for 11 years," said Gabriel Piaz, bilingual language coordinator. "I've never experienced anything like it."
Piaz said schools need more resources to deal with the 5,000 migrant students who are now enrolled in CPS. He joined Chicago Teachers Union President Stacy Davis Gates and the American Federation of Teachers head Randi Weingarten for a roundtable at Cameron to ask for more help.
"We have needs and these needs will not be met alone by the district or the city," Davis Gates said.
The CTU is asking for more bilingual teachers, 100 percent of tuition costs for current teacher to get their bilingual certificates and a migrant coordinator in each school that enrolls new arrivals.
"We need people in the building whose sole purpose is working with newcomer families and making sure they get on their feet," Piaz said.
The district said it's already spent millions of dollars for increased staffing and services. Paying for more resources will be a huge challenge and the city is tapped out. Even with more migrants arriving in the dead of winter, the Johnson administration said it cannot afford to open new shelters at this time.
"What the city is telling you, the city council in particular is we don't got it," said Davis Gates.
While Weingarten said she will continue to push the White House for more help, she suggested the city and state work together to do the same.
"When mayors and governors work together on this end and go to Washington together that actually is really helpful," she said.
Davis Gates denied there is any friction between the mayor and Governor JB Pritzker.
"The last thing anyone needs in this moment is a fight," she said.
The teachers union said if schools to not get additional resources for migrant students, CTU's requests will be part of negotiations when the union's contract is up in June.