A sizeable number of Venezuelan migrants who travelled to the United States in search of greener pastures have given up and decided to head home. One migrant by the name of Michale Castejon who is 39 years old told the Chicago Tribune that he and his wife and teenage stepdaughter had had enough of Chicago after spending five months sleeping either at the police station or crowded city shelters.
He said he has not been able to get a job permit or enroll his daughter in school.
Some 20,000 migrants arrived in Chicago after August 2022 as Republican Texas Gov Greg Abbott began sending them on buses to sanctuary cities. Many of them also ended up sleeping at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. Some 500 people were camping behind a heavy black curtain in a shuttle bus terminal at the busy airport as officials tried to set up tent cities last month to accommodate more than 14,000 asylum seekers.
The migrants sleep on cardboard pads on the floor and share public bathrooms.
Illinois State Sen Cristina Pacione-Zayas says that the city is still working on capacity and has added 15 shelters and 3,000 beds since May.
The migrants are given 190,000 meals weekly and have groups looking into their medical care.
However asylum seeker are growing steadily more disheartened as the weather has become colder and wetter and their circumstances no better.
Another asylum seeker, Jose Nauh, 22 also returned to Texas and will go back to Venezuela.
Chicago’s resources have been depleted by waves of migrants despite being a Democrat state and a sanctuary city.
Illinois Democratic Gov J.B Pritzker wrote to President Biden in October saying that the federal government had really failed to provide assistance to Chicago as the migrant crisis reaches breaking point.
“The humanitarian crisis is overwhelming our ability to provide aid to the refugee population. Unfortunately, the welcome aid Illinois has been providing to these asylum seekers has not been matched with support by the federal government.”
The state has spent $330 million to house and feed migrants to date.
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