(ABC 7 Chicago) Migrants from the U.S.-Mexico border are waking up in Chicago Thursday morning.
They reached Union Station Wednesday night, after being bused from Texas.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s office has said migrants are transported out of state only with their written permission. It is not clear what other options have been offered to the migrants.
Now Chicago joins New York and Washington, D.C. in trying to give these people a new life. It was a reunion of pure joy for some.
One mother and father trekked from Venezuela with their two small children, looking to find family in Chicago and a better life.
They were among the nearly 60 migrants who arrived in Chicago Wednesday night.
The man said their journey was harrowing.
“We just left Venezuela, went to Colombia, going through the jungle in Panama,” William Mijares said. “We were not treated like humans. We were treated like the worst kind of people in the world and we don’t understand why, but that’s the way they consider us.”
Abbott announced Wednesday afternoon that he’d sent the first bus of migrants to Chicago.
For the migrants’ safety, ABC7 Chicago blurred the faces of those who arrived in Chicago, unless they gave permission to show them.
In a statement, Abbott took a swipe at both President Joe Biden and Mayor Lori Lightfoot, saying in part, “President Biden’s inaction at our southern border continues putting the lives of Texans-and Americans-at risk and is overwhelming our communities.
“To continue to provide much-needed relief to our small, overrun border towns, Chicago will join fellow sanctuary cities…as an additional drop off location. Mayor Lightfoot loves to tout the responsibility of her city to welcome all regardless of legal status, and I look forward to seeing this responsibility in action as these migrants receive resources from a sanctuary city with the capacity to serve them.”
The Mayor’s Office said the city is happy to welcome the migrants and to provide them with food, shelter and protection, but added, “This is not new; Chicago welcomes hundreds of migrants every year to our city and provides much-needed assistance. Unfortunately, Texas Governor Greg Abbot is without any shame or humanity. But ever since he put these racist practices of expulsion in place, we have been working with our community partners to ready the city to receive these individuals.”
One woman said she’s a civil engineer, in search of a better life in the U.S.
Speaking in Spanish, she said, “It took two months to get here. All of my family is still there. The dictatorship, and there is no food. You can’t live on a salary of $2 a month.”
For others, what comes next is a little less certain.
“We just arrived to Texas and they got us onto our bus and they said someone was going to be waiting for us here, but that was not true,” Mijares said. “I cannot say it was a nice trip, but it was better than what we had during our passing in South America.”
Another man who said his name is William said he hopes to start a new life.
“I want to find a job, just to progress in a very safe country. That’s what we want,” he said.
Like so many people on these buses, he has six children and a family to provide for.