As a sanctuary City, Chicago has welcomed immigrants and migrants from across the globe to a community where they do not have to live in fear based on their immigration status. In the 25th Ward, Pilsen and Little Village are rich historic neighborhoods that have served as ports for immigrants in Chicago. We encourage new residents and long-time folks to take a look at what resources are available and information on recent developments.
Since August 31, 2022, the State of Texas has bused asylum seekers through private charter buses to Chicago at regular intervals. During the last several months, Texas officials dispatched buses with hundreds of migrants to Chicago, Washington D.C., and New York City. While most asylum seekers are from Venezuela, individuals and families are also from all over the world, including countries from Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.
As a Welcoming City, we have a responsibility to provide access to shelter, food, and medical care to everyone regardless of immigration status. Many of our new arrivals have walked hundreds of miles, navigating great danger through multiple countries, in pursuit of safety and opportunity in the United States.
We are committed to assisting each family and individual, providing human services with respect and dignity.
In June 2023, the Mayor’s Office began hosting weekly briefings for Alders to summarize ongoing advocacy efforts and data tracked. In the interest of transparency, The Committee on Immigrant and Refugee Rights has compiled the information from these briefings to make it accessible to the public and this can be viewed here.
Some of the information you will be able to review on their site includes the number of migrants that are currently in shelters and police stations, location of City shelters and demographic information. This ongoing humanitarian crisis continues to grow and impact our city and communities. We hope this data illustrates the fact that we must work cohesively and in partnership to provide adequate and human housing for all.
If you are looking to help our new neighbors, you can now purchase urgently needed items directly from an Amazon Wish List set up by Instituto del Progreso Latino. You can find the Wish List by visiting InstitutoChicago.org.
You can also drop new items at New Life Centers, 4401 W. Ogden Avenue. Only new items are accepted at this time.
311 City Services:
The City’s 311 operators have been given special instruction to help youth and families connect with supportive services throughout the city as a result of the uncertainty related to the election. Chicago residents are encouraged to call 311 for additional information on supportive services offered through the City, including: services related to human rights; immigration services and health services; services specifically for families, children and youth; and legal services. These resources will be provided in both English and Spanish, as well as other languages as needed.
Instituto del Progreso Latino:
Instituto is one of the largest processors of citizenship applications in the state of Illinois! Their citizenship programs and services help residents navigate the application process to become U.S. citizens. Their services are open to all community members by appointment only. To make an appointment, please call 773-890-0055 at extension 4515 or fill out the intake form, found here.
Their services include:
- Family-Based Immigrant Petitions
- Green Card Renewals
- Visas for Victims of Crime and Domestic Violence
- Cannabis Expungement (through New Leaf IL)
The Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) is dedicated to ensuring human rights protections and access to justice for all immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers.
On their site, there is information about who NIJC helps, and the services they provide, along with basic information intended to give immigrants an understanding of their rights under U.S. law during immigration proceedings or if they are arrested and detained by the Department of Homeland Security.
ICIRR is dedicated to promoting the rights of immigrants and refugees to full and equal participation in the civic, cultural, social, and political life of our diverse society.
Working with many member organizations on various programs and campaigns, they offer services including language translation to allow low-income immigrant families and other limited-English speaking persons access to health care, state public resources, social services, legal aid and financial assistance. They’re hotline number is (855) 435-7693 with translation available in English/Spanish/Korean/Polish.
As a non-profit organization they are working towards supporting the needs of micro-entrepreneurs and provide social, civil, legal, psychological services, mental health and support for migrant communities.
Their Legal and Immigration Center offers legal assistance from lawyers who have extensive experience and at the same time. Due to the large number of people who are currently requesting asylum or refuge, BIHD is currently on waiting list but any interested parties can call (312) 772-3410 or visit their location at 2751 W 16th St.