Mayor of Chicago plans to have city help shelter undocumented children

Insight

The mayor of one of the largest cities in the U.S. wants to provide support for undocumented children. Rahm Emanuel of Chicago wants to pitch in to help shelter them, which is a decision drawing some criticism. CCTV America’s Roza Kazan reports.

Mayor of Chicago plans to have city help shelter undocumented children

The mayor of one of the largest cities in the U.S. wants to provide support for undocumented children. Rahm Emanuel of Chicago wants to pitch in to help shelter them, which is a decision drawing some criticism. CCTV America's Roza Kazan reports.

There was a protest outside the Chicago mayor’s office in support of undocumented children from Central America. The protesters believe the children, caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border and waiting to be either deported or allowed to stay, should be treated as refugees.

They believe they should not be treated as immigrants because they come to the U.S. out of desperation.

“The situation is critical in our countries, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras especially,” said Elena Melendez, President of the Association of Honduran Culture in Chicago. “The drug traffic is killing our families, dealers using gangs for drug traffic. There is hunger and no jobs.”

The U.S. government says nearly 63,000 children have been caught crossing the southern border alone since October – that’s double last year’s number.

“When we heard of the situation at the border, this influx of child migrants coming to the U.S., the mayor was extremely passionate about ensuring that Chicago played a leading role in supporting and welcoming the children.,” said Tonantzin Carmona, Director of Chicago Mayor’s Office of New Americans.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to shelter an additional 1,000 unaccompanied minors by the end of the year. However, some in the Hispanic community believe it’s a political move to appeal to Latino voters ahead of the mayoral election in February.

“We need the mayor to be the voice for our community, our immigrant community, but be the voice, not just use us a, a political engine to generate votes for him,” said community organizer and priest Jose Landaverde.

The criticism has also come from Chicago’s economically depressed crime-ridden South Side. Geraldine Smith, who runs a summer youth work program, said the mayor should focus on fighting crime and bringing jobs to the young people already in the community.

While Chicago officials say the children will be treated fairly and humanely in their city, it has not stopped criticism that more needs to be done to help the ‘legal’ children already here.

For more on immigration, CCTV America was joined by Alex Nowrasteh. He’s the immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity.

How should the US handle undocumented migrant families?

For more on immigration, CCTV America was joined by Alex Nowrasteh. He's the immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute's Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity.