City Cast

Work Permits Coming for Some Migrants in Chicago

Sidney Madden
Sidney Madden
Posted on September 25
Migrants outside the Inn of Chicago in Streeterville

Migrants outside the Inn of Chicago in Streeterville Aug. 17. (Antonio Perez / Tribune / Getty)

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced last week it would expedite work permits for migrants who have arrived from Venezuela — including those who have settled in Chicago.

How Will Migrants in Chicago Be Affected?

Migrants who are Venezuelan nationals and arrived before July 31 are eligible to apply for temporary protected status, which for 18 months protects migrants from deportation to home countries considered unsafe. TPS will also allow migrants to apply for legal work permits.

More than 13,500 migrants have arrived in Chicago since last summer, many of whom are from Venezuela.

What Does TPS Mean for the City?

Chicago is facing a half-billion dollar budget deficit heading into 2024, and it costs the city about $20 million per month to support new arrivals, Block Club’s Manny Ramos told the City Cast Chicago podcast.

“[Expanding TPS] allows folks to be more self-sufficient when it comes to working and providing for themselves. The federal government's move can help alleviate some of those burdens for cities that consider themselves welcoming to migrants, but simply don't have the infrastructure,” he said.

Is it Enough?

Some advocates say the process will take months before migrants see benefits while others say the government should grant work permits to all immigrants, according to CBS Chicago.

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