On May 31, 2023 Chicago’s City Council approved the use of $51 million to help newly arrived migrants and asylum seekers. The funds intended for staffing, food, transportation and legal services are meant to support the more than 9,000 migrants who have arrived in Chicago since last August and the thousands more that may arrive in the coming months.
Alianza Americas, a network of migrant-led organizations from Latin America and the Caribbean, applaud this decision and encourage cities across the country to follow the leadership of Chicago.
“The city of Chicago has the resources to provide services to all current Chicago residents and those who wish to build a home here. Everyone should have equal access to education, quality health care, jobs that can sustain a family, and affordable housing, regardless of their immigration status,” says Claudia Lucero, executive director at Chicago Religious Leadership Network (CRLN). “Chicago has the opportunity to lead by example and demonstrate how integration policies that are rooted in caring for those who need a lending hand are possible.”
Alianza Americas validates the concerns of Chicago’s local residents who have long been disinvested in, but encourages unity across race, class, and immigration status to more effectively demand that resources are allocated in benefit of the physical and mental well being of all who call the windy city home.
“Chicago has the opportunity to lead by example, by demonstrating that it is feasible to implement integrated economic and social policies centered around developing systems of care and attention for those who are in vulnerable situations,” says Diego Samayoa, Associate Executive Director at Centro Romero. “By successfully and efficiently executing and enforcing these policies at the local level, the time would be propitious for scaling up these integration strategies to the Federal Level. Aiming at constructing an immigration system that is more humane and compassionate within the United States.”
Both CRLN and Centro Romero are part of Alianza Americas’ network of member organizations and have provided humanitarian assistance to migrants sent to Chicago since last August.