On September 20th, 2023, the Biden Administration provided temporary deportation relief and access to work permits to nearly half a million Venezuelan migrants who arrived in the U.S. on or before July 31st for 18 months. Many immigrant communities face unjust treatment, unsafe working environments, and unfairly low wages due to their undocumented status. On October 12th, 2023, many of Chicago’s immigrant communities rallied to demand work permits for everyone regardless of their legal status. This effort saw the presence of over 600 community members as well as elected officials and community-based organizations.
Community members stepped forward and shared their experiences of either working under these conditions or watching their families struggle through life to make a wage in a system that turned their backs on them. One community member shared a story of how she watched her father work himself until he ended up hospitalized due to the unsafe working conditions and lack of resources to assist him. This is an all too familiar story in largely undocumented communities and one that organizations like the Southwest Organizing Project, La Casa Norte, The Resurrection Project and many more partners want to see rectified.
Community organizations are calling for the Biden Administration to use the existing law to expand work permits through parole and Temporary Protect Status to all immigrants. Many advocates, leaders, community members, and organizations are continuing their work by going to Washington D.C. on November 13th and 14th, 2023, to make their voices heard and show support toward this necessary change.
For more information about the Work Permits For All campaign and the Washington D.C. summit visit, www.workpermits4all.org