* Theodora Koulouvaris at WCIA…
Central Illinois immigration advocates are preparing to help hundreds of migrants bused from the southern border of the U.S. […]
Gloria Yen, Director of the New American Welcome Center at the University YMCA, told WCIA in an email that their organization expects that for the next 15 weeks, roughly 1,000 migrants will arrive each week. […]
“This [gubernatorial] declaration will free up the resources to really treat the situation, and the people here with the dignity that they need,” said Charlotte Alvarez, Esq., the executive director of the Immigration Project. […]
“They’re passing through our downstate communities, and bus drivers are just telling people, if you want to get off here you can,” Alvarez said. […]
[Gloria Yen, Director of the New American Welcome Center at the University YMCA] said some migrants arriving in Chicago are in great need of mental health and medical care.
“Some folks walked through the jungle,” Yen said. “Others threw their children and then themselves onto moving train cars and sustained injuries.”
* Charlie Schlenker at WGLT…
The mayor of Normal, Chris Koos, said, at the most recent meeting of the Illinois Municipal League, city leaders from across the state discussed taking in migrants to ease the burden, in answer to Chicago’s appeal for help.
“Communities in Illinois will probably step up and help as much as they can,” said Koos.
The Town of Normal is exploring how it would cope if a bus of migrants arrived and whether there is room for them. Koos said the town needs to understand the logistics of what would happen.
“The first thing that comes to mind is housing,” said Koos. “Where would we put people? Housing is so tight in this market already. So, we have to have a clear understanding, and this was advice that we shared with each other in that meeting in Chicago. Going into this, be realistic about what you’re getting involved in and make sure you can actually do what you think you want to do.” […]
Bloomington Mayor Mboka Mwilambwe said, for example, the community also would need to mobilize service providers to deal with an influx.
“I would hope that prior to something like that happening, we would get a head’s up,” said Mwilambwe, adding the city would be hard pressed to quickly absorb any migrants.
“As you know, I am an immigrant myself and I have been welcomed in this area,” he said. “So, there is a culture and a tradition of being compassionate towards individuals who have needs. We’ll do the best we can.”
* Meanwhile, in Chicago…
Catholic Charities is among the groups providing assistance to the migrants, who include asylum seekers. […]
“Treating children of God as political pawns is unbecoming of any elected official, especially when it involves marginalized, suffering people,” Cardinal Cupich said in a Sept. 2 statement. “The Archdiocese of Chicago stands with local municipal and religious leaders who have pledged to support these new arrivals seeking better, safer lives.”
Once the first buses arrived, the migrants were shuttled to a shelter where they could get a hot meal and shower and sleep for the night, and the next day they were brought to an intake center where they received health screenings and help figuring out their next steps. […]
[Marie Jochum, senior director of special projects for Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago] said many parishes and individuals have contacted Catholic Charities to see how they can help. All donations and volunteers are being cleared through the city of Chicago, which has posted a list of needed items at chicago.gov/city/en/sites/texas-new-arrivals/home.html. […]
Jochum said that Catholic Charities and the other organizations that are involved, including the Salvation Army, the National Immigration Justice Center, the Resurrection Project, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, among others, and various government agencies, have a lot of experience providing this kind of help.
Catholic Charities, which is providing case management services for individuals and families, has a longstanding refugee resettlement program, working with people who come to the U.S. with refugee status, she said. Those refugees have more resources from the federal government when they arrive, but they have similar needs.
The agency has also been fielding more requests from asylum seekers who come on their own to seek emergency assistance, she said. It also has reached out to sister Catholic Charities agencies in New York and Washington to learn from their experiences with busloads of migrants arriving from Texas.
* And this is just bad reporting from NBC 5…
However, a western suburb received a bus of 64 migrants last week without prior notice from city officials, with the village of Burr Ridge accommodating the asylum-seekers on the fly.
What a crock. The asylum seekers weren’t dumped in Burr Ridge with no place to go or with no services the way Texas is dumping them in Chicago. The Burr Ridge government didn’t have to do anything, except complain, which they did.
* Immigrants bused to Chicago from Texas need emergency housing, healthcare: In just a month, more than 650 people seeking asylum have been bused from Texas to Chicago. Volunteers and nonprofits are meeting people as they arrive and helping to provide housing, healthcare and food. But these immigrants are in a precarious position because they can’t legally work in the country until six months after they submit their asylum application. Meanwhile, that application process requires money for legal fees, and many of the non-profits that help immigrants with this process are already at capacity.
* West Ridge’s Shuttered YMCA Being Used To House Migrants Bused In From Texas: The Red Cross and Salvation Army are providing meals and other basic needs for those staying in the YMCA building, according to Silverstein. The National Guard is helping to staff the makeshift shelter and the YMCA is providing around-the-clock security.