This week marks one year since the first bus of asylum seekers was sent to Chicago from the southern border. More than 13,500 migrants have arrived in the city to date, creating a humanitarian crisis and straining the city’s social safety net.
As money and resources grow thin, there have been calls for more collaboration across various levels of government to meet the needs of migrants.
Just this week, Mayor Brandon Johnson was one of a host of Illinois politicians calling on the federal government to fast-track work authorization for noncitizens. A federal law from the 1990s states asylum seekers have to wait a total of 180 days before receiving work authorization.
Joining “Chicago Tonight: Latino Voices” to discuss the matter are state Sen. Celina Villanueva, whose district covers parts of Little Village, Pilsen, Brighton Park and Bridgeport; Cook County Commissioner Anthony Quezada of the 8th District; and Ald. Andre Vasquez (40th Ward), who chairs the City Council’s Committee on Immigrant and Refugee Rights.