CHICAGO, September 1, 2022
On Wednesday night, the first buses commissioned by the State of Texas carrying asylum seekers and other migrants from the U.S.-Mexico border arrived in Chicago. At World Relief Chicagoland, we serve asylum seekers, refugees and other immigrants by extending welcome, providing vital services and connecting people together. We do this in partnership with hundreds of local churches, businesses and community organizations across Chicagoland.
World Relief Chicagoland welcomes those who have arrived on buses from Texas. These individuals and families have fled hardships such as corruption, threats against their lives, loss of loved ones and authoritarian regimes. They have been permitted by the federal government to be present within the United States while they await further court hearings to determine their permanent eligibility for asylum or other protections offered by U.S. law.
When individuals and families seek safety at the U.S.-Mexico border through interactions with Border Patrol agents, we believe it is vital that they receive due process under the law, and that they are kept safe while working their way through that process.
Often, families who are lawfully permitted into the United States as they apply for asylum will travel to be with family and communities of people they already know within the United States. We believe it is vital for those who are being bused to Chicago to fully understand and consent to the journey. For those who are seeking family and community in Chicago, or have destinations elsewhere in the Midwest, we offer welcome.
In line with our Christian faith, we believe immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers are human beings and deserving of dignity and respect. Having fled dangerous situations and traveled long and difficult journeys from places like Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and other parts of the world, these individuals and families need broad community support. As the City of Chicago coordinates a response, World Relief Chicagoland joins with many other partners to welcome and serve.
That so many individuals are making dangerous, grueling journeys to the U.S.-Mexico border speaks to a need for a better immigration system. A more robust system would offer individuals the opportunity to apply for refugee or other immigration status closer to their homes, and without having to avail themselves of their last recourse under U.S. immigration law: requesting asylum once reaching the U.S. World Relief continues to advocate for the federal government to support and enact fair and just immigration reform.
As opportunities for community members to support welcome efforts for those arriving on buses, they will be posted at www.worldrelief.org/chicagoland/bus-response.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Audrey Garden
About World Relief Chicagoland
At World Relief Chicagoland, we come alongside refugees and other immigrants in vulnerable situations as they rebuild their lives in the United States. For over 40 years, we’ve been welcoming immigrants and refugees across Chicagoland, starting with refugee resettlement in Chicago and DuPage County (1979), and later in Aurora (1999). Today, World Relief Chicagoland is part of a national network of offices through which over 400,000 immigrants and refugees have been welcomed into this country.