Texas migrants arriving to Chicago will need long-term support, some say

Will Jones Image
ByWill Jones via WLS logo
Thursday, September 8, 2022
EMBED <>More Videos

The Little Village Community Council has been collecting clothing for the migrants who were bused to Chicago by Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Little Village Community Council has been collecting clothing for the migrants who were bused to Chicago by Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

"We want to help by giving them a big welcome by providing them as simple as a pair of socks, underwear, t-shirts. Some of them have been wearing the same underwear for a month now," said Baltazar Enriquez, who heads the nonprofit.

The organization is focused on responding to the immediate needs of the migrants from housing to financial support.

Enriquez said some of the new arrivals need money to send back home to support their families and to pay off loans they took out for their journey to the U.S.

READ MORE: How to help after more migrants bused to Chicago from Texas

"Those loan sharks are going to go after their families if they don't pay back their loans," he said. "If anybody needs anybody to cut their grass, clean their houses and you want to pay them cash, you can come here to the community council."

A major challenge for the migrants is that they cannot legally apply for jobs in the U.S. until they can get a work permit. Johannes Favi with the Interfaith Community for Detained Immigrants said it takes about a year to get a work permit.

"We need to advocate also for the federal government to allow them to have work authorization documents so they can work and then pay their own rent. But until then they have to be dependent on organization like ours," Favi said.

That's why United Workers' Center senior organizer Linda Brito is hoping the city has a plan to address the long-term needs of the migrants.

"One of the promises of the Lightfoot administration when the Ukrainian refugees came is that we are going to help them get jobs. We're hoping for the same response for these folks who are in extreme dire need," Brito said.