Mayor Lightfoot asks Chicagoans to help Texas migrants after more arrive in city | How to help

50 more migrants, mainly Venezuelan families seeking asylum, arrived in Chicago from Texas Sunday

Monday, September 5, 2022
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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is calling on Chicagoans to help get migrants arriving from Texas on their feet after another busload arrived from Texas.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is calling on Chicagoans to help get migrants arriving from Texas on their feet after another busload of migrants arrived Sunday from Texas.

A group of newly-arrived migrants gathered Monday at the corner of a Humboldt Park Salvation Army shelter. It's becoming a place for migrants to stay on their way to somewhere else.

"I saw a lot of little children trying to be children under very stressful circumstances," said Xanat Sobrevilla, with Organized Communities Against Deportation. "[They were ages] 2, 7 and oldest I saw was 12 years old."

WATCH: Lightfoot announces another busload of migrants from Texas arrive in Chicago Sunday

Volunteers from several of the city's non-profits were on-site Sunday to help translate as an initial intake process took place. Pilsen's Resurrection Project is among those taking the lead. They tell us that only 38 of the 50 were taken to the shelter. The vast majority of them are families.

"Some of them are going to get picked up by family today," said Erendira Rendon, with Resurrection Project. "Some of them are going to go to New Jersey is what we heard, but for the time being they needed a place to sleep."

RELATED: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sends bus of migrants to Chicago; previously bused migrants to NYC, DC

Since Wednesday, 125 migrants, mostly from Venezuela, have arrived in Chicago from Texas. The busing program is one that is being carried out unilaterally by Governor Greg Abbott, who started busing migrants to New York and Washington, D.C. starting in April. So far they have received around 8,000 migrants each.

In a Facebook post Sunday, Abbott's office said, in part: "Texas will continue providing relief to our small, overrun border towns by busing migrants to sanctuary cities that boast services to care for them."

"We shouldn't have to guess," Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said. "We shouldn't have to have folks on the ground whispering to us about what's happening. If you don't want these folks to stay in Texas, then make sure that you collaborate with the cities before you put them on buses so that we can be here and make sure that our services are welcoming."

For now, the city, county and state have been coordinating to move most of the new arrivals who do not have a place to go from the shelter into transitional housing. But the big focus now is preparing for what may yet come by starting a process by which local organizations can sign up as volunteers and everyday citizens can donate clothing and other supplies to those in need.

RELATED: 'Our city is prepared': Chicago welcomes Texas migrants after Gov. Abbott sends busloads of people

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)

- Athletic shoes

- New hygiene items (toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, shampoo)

- Feminine hygiene products

- Diapers

- Reusable bags (duffle bags and suitcases)

- Backpacks

- Baby formula

- Blankets

- Books for kids (Spanish)

- Strollers

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.