CHICAGO (WMBD) — Dick Durbin (D-IL), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and a handful of U.S. Representatives sent a letter Thursday to President Biden to urge his administration to provide Illinois and Chicago with more resources to help asylum seekers.
In the letter, the members asked for a governmentwide provision of resources, help with streamlining work authorization for additional populations, technical assistance for work permit applications, improved coordination and data sharing, as well as making improvements to the Shelter and Services Program.
The lawmakers wrote, “As members of the Illinois congressional delegation, we urge you to take immediate action to address serious humanitarian needs in Illinois. The State of Illinois and the City of Chicago have dedicated unprecedented resources to the more than 18,000 asylum seekers who have traveled to Chicago from the U.S.-Mexico border since the start of Governor Abbott’s partisan stunt, ‘Operation Lone Star,’ in August 2022.”.
The group asked for safe, orderly, and humane immigration processes.
“State and local officials have worked tirelessly to serve these new arrivals, and the federal government must swiftly provide assistance and resources that reflect this Administration’s commitment to safe, orderly, and humane immigration processes,” the group continued.
The members also asked for Biden to provide an assigned and dedicated federal liaison for Illinois. This person would coordinate federal agencies to assist state and local officials and would serve as a single point of contact for the officials.
The letter also asks Biden to send Department of Homeland Security officials to Chicago to assist non-governmental organizations in navigating new processes and helping asylum seekers get fresh information.
The members of Congress who penned the letter include: Jonathan Jackson (D-IL-01), Robin Kelly (D-IL-02), Delia Ramirez (D-IL-03), Jesús “Chuy” García (D-IL-04), Mike Quigley (D-IL-05), Sean Casten (D-IL-06), Danny Davis (D-IL-07), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL-08), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-09), Brad Schneider (D-IL-10), Bill Foster (D-IL-11), Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14), and Eric Sorensen (D-IL-17) also joined the letter.
To view the entire letter, visit Durbin’s website.