As more migrants are bused to Chicago from Texas, activists struggle to keep pace with aid

CHICAGO (CBS) – Chicago leaders and charities were trying Monday night to figure out how to help a busload of migrants who arrived in the city without warning.

As CBS 2’s Marybel González reported, the Salvation Army was sheltering the migrants in Humboldt Park on Monday night. Meanwhile, activists bring them food and supplies, but struggle to gather more and find donations.

Activists are struggling to keep up because they don’t really know when the migrants will arrive in Chicago from Texas – until it has already happened.

“As soon as we know they’re here, we start networking,” said Baltazar Enriquez, president of the Little Village Community Council.

Enriquez has been at the forefront of collecting donations for migrant groups sent to Chicago in protest by Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

Last week, Enriquez showed us his office — where donations were dropped off just hours after nearly 80 migrants arrived at Union Station on a bus.

But as more migrants are bused into Chicago – with the last group of around 50 arriving on Sunday – Enriquez said he’s struggling to keep up with the supplies they need.

“It’s really the conundrum – that we have to quickly ask for these items, and sometimes they don’t have them,” Enriquez said.

He said it was because the city did not notify the Little Village Community Council of the arrival of migrants.

“And if we find out, it’s thanks to the refugees helping us. They let us know, ‘Hey, my cousin is coming’ or ‘My brother is coming.’ We find out thanks to them,” Enriquez said.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she was also not receiving a warning. She took Governor Abbott to task for this – among other complaints.

“I understand that he has no interest in providing any kind of support for people who come to Texas,” Mayor Lightfoot said Sunday, “but then do the right thing and collaborate and cooperate, instead of us having to guess – are they coming? are they not coming? how many? what are their needs?

Activists say their current needs are clothes, underwear and backpacks for children.

Meanwhile, the city is asking for help from the federal government as they prepare for more migrants to arrive in Chicago.


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