CHICAGO — State Rep. Lilian Jiménez, D-Chicago, is leading an effort to provide a path for migrant communities to receive work authorization by adopting a resolution calling on the federal government to take action to resolve the backlog of asylum cases and employment authorization.
“Asylum seekers who have arrived in Illinois over the last year can be an asset to Illinois,” Jiménez said. “Unfortunately the average asylum claim can take five years to reach a court due to federal backlogs. Migrants from Venezuela, Haiti, Columbia, Nicaragua, as well as countries in Asia and Africa fled their home countries, traversed through dangerous paths and are now being bused by state actors from the southern border to Illinois.They have so much to contribute to our state, if we provide the opportunity. It is entirely unacceptable that House Republicans at the federal level have blocked honest immigration reform every step of the way.. This measure is sending a clear message: to be inactive is to be complicit in injustice.”
Jiménez passed House Resolution 81, which urges the federal government to take a more active role in removing the barriers to work authorization for the estimated 12,000 migrants bused from the southern border into Illinois. The resolution also advocates for expediting the asylum process.
In her first year in office, Jiménez introduced legislation that would impact immigrant communities and asylum seekers. Jiménez proposed House Bill 3395 which would create wage parity for agricultural workers, often constituted by underrepresented immigrant groups.
“Illinois and Chicago cannot solve the immigration dilemma on their own,” Jiménez said. “We need partners at the state and federal level to enact real change. I am calling on the federal government to dedicate themselves to this growing issue. Real families are hurting because of inaction and justice for asylum seekers won’t be achieved until we all demonstrate genuine concern for the underlying migration issues.”