The mayors of Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles and New York have asked for a meeting with President Joe Biden to get federal help to deal with the influx of migrants they say are coming to their cities with little or no coordination, support or government. resources.
In a letter seen by The Associated Press on Wednesday, the five Democratic leaders said that while they recognize the efforts made by Biden, more needs to be done to alleviate the problem that is weighing on their cities.
Migrants sleep in the reception rooms of Chicago police stations. In New York, a cruise ship served as a refuge. In Denver, the number of migrants increased tenfold and the space available for them disappeared. Without a work permit, these migrants cannot get jobs that allow them to get housing.
Denver Mayor Mike Johnston, who heads the coalition, says almost every conversation he has with migrants starts with the same question: Can you help me get a job?
“The crisis is that we have people who are desperate to get jobs. And we have employers who are desperate to hire them. And we have a federal government that is preventing employers from hiring employees who want to work. ,” Johnston said.
The signatories of the letter are the mayors of four major cities in the country, Eric Adams of New York, Karen Bass of Los Angeles, Brandon Johnson of Chicago and Sylvester Turner of Houston.
The situation on the border with Mexico has angered the Democratic president, who is seeking re-election in 2024. He has received criticism from members of his own party who have to deal with the wave of migrants in their cities. Republicans accused him of neglecting border security and allowing more people to enter.
It responded by tightening rules aimed at preventing illegal entry into the country and offering work permits and other incentives to those entering legally, with a visa and by plane.
There are many reasons for the large waves of migrants in these cities, where the economic and climatic difficulties of their countries of origin. More and more families are coming to seek asylum.
Some states with right-wing governors are sending migrants to so-called sanctuary cities like New York or Chicago, which are more welcoming to foreigners. But that doesn’t explain why cities receive such waves.
In previous years, the new arrivals were released and taken in by nonprofit organizations before settling in with relatives already in the country. But nationalities have changed, and many have nowhere to go.
Claiming asylum is a long and difficult process through an overstretched immigration court system. In some cases, the migrant must wait up to a decade for their hearing. They are allowed to wait inside the United States. Some are able to look for work, but the approvals come with great delay. It is also feared that employment will become easier, many will try to get there on foot. Because of this, thousands are in limbo, unable to work, sleeping in shelters or government facilities.