CHICAGO (WLS) -- Three more busloads of migrants from Texas arrived in Chicago Wednesday.
Two buses arrived in the early afternoon. On both buses were several families accompanied by young children among the new arrivals.
The buses arrived within about two hours of each other, first to Union Station where they were greeted by city officials, including paramedics, to make a first assessment as to whether anyone had immediate medical needs. After that, the migrants were brought to the Salvation Army Freedom Center in Humboldt Park.
The third bus arrived shortly before 7 p.m. Chicago officials said in total, 151 migrants arrived in the city Wednesday, more than double the combined amount that arrived last Wednesday and Sunday.
The Freedom Center has become the first stop for the arriving migrants since the first bus arrived last week.
While the drop offs are new to Chicago, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has been unilaterally sending busloads of migrants to both New York City and Washington D.C. since April. Each city has received approximately 8,000 people each.
Abbott said he's sending the migrants to alleviate the situation at the U.S.-Mexican border, where a growing number of asylum seekers, mostly from South and Central America, are overwhelming border communities.
Under current U.S. policy, those seeking asylum are allowed to remain in the country until their legal cases are decided, a process that can take several years.
While many of the new arrivals will no doubt stay in the Chicago area, part of the intake process includes determining who has family and friends to go to and where, so they can move on from the shelter as soon as possible.
"I wish them the best, and I hope their future is much better here than in other country," said Juliana Isaza, friend of arriving migrants.
Isaza greeted two family friends from her hometown in northern Colombia, a mother and daughter who have been traveling for weeks.
"We were really happy, because she finally texted me and we cried. We were really happy to know they were OK," she said.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city has since reached out on the federal and state level for aid and is calling upon anyone who wants to help these migrant families to donate.
The city is in the process of identifying drop-off locations for donations, but some items needed include:
- Gift cards
- New clothing (including cold weather clothing, underwear is a priority) for adults, children and infants
- Athletic shoes
- New hygiene items (toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, shampoo)
- Feminine hygiene products
- Reusable bags (duffle bags and suitcases)
- Baby formula
- Books for kids (Spanish)
- Nail clippers
- Ace bandages
- Over the counter medications including Tylenol, Ibuprofen, heartburn medication, calamine lotion, antibacterial cream, antifungal cream, hydrocortisone cream and antaids
- Band-aids (all sizes)
- Toys and activity books
- Comfortable shoes for men, women and children
- Socks, all sizes baby to adults
Food or used items will not be accepted.
For more information on how you can become a volunteer or make a donation, visit Chicago.gov.