Will Biden give them what they are demanding?
Chicago’s undocumented community is urging President Biden to extend work permits, drawing parallels to the recent provisions granted to incoming Venezuelans. In September, the Biden administration announced deportation protections and work permits for a substantial number of Venezuelans entering the country, a response to the challenges faced by cities like Chicago and New York City in handling the influx of migrants.
While some celebrated the decision, long-time residents who have spent decades in the country are expressing hope for similar generosity. Juana Arreguin, a 52-year-old resident, appealed to President Biden not to overlook them and stressed the need for job permits, echoing the sentiments of others.
Since August 2022, at least 20,000 migrants have arrived in Chicago, raising concerns about housing them during the upcoming winter. Undocumented immigrants with a history in the city are advocating for fair and equal treatment. DACA recipient Erendira Rendon insisted on the fairness of receiving job permits, and Consuelo Martinez implored President Biden to extend the same privileges granted to Venezuelan migrants during a recent rally.
In Washington, D.C., thousands of immigrants marched last month, urging President Biden to provide work permits for the millions of undocumented migrants still residing in the country. Criticisms have emerged, with some long-time residents expressing frustration that new arrivals receive support easily, while those who have been working and paying taxes for years feel neglected.
Florida landscaper José Guerrero voiced his discontent, stating that existing residents are not receiving the same benefits as newcomers. Meanwhile, approximately 270,000 individuals from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela have been able to apply for temporary legal status since arriving in October.
Juana Arreguin emphasized the need for recognition, stating that long-time residents are no different from new migrants seeking a better life. She highlighted the decades spent contributing to society and paying taxes, urging politicians to acknowledge their presence.
The Chicago Tribune’s report coincided with findings that many Venezuelan migrants have chosen to voluntarily return to their home country rather than face the challenges of a winter in Chicago.