Social Justice in Chicago: The new wave of immigrants

Event moderator and Sun-Times social justice and wage gap reporter, Elvia Malagón, was joined by special guests Dr. Evelyn Figueroa, Frank Sandoval and Karina Ayala-Bermejo on April 26 at the Coleman Public Library.

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In late August, a bus filled with asylum seekers unexpectedly arrived in Chicago. The buses continued to come for weeks, part of a plan by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to send immigrants to Democrat-led cities. Within six months, more than 5,140 immigrants arrived in Chicago, and about 2,100 were living in the shelter system, according to city officials. While some attempts to house this growing population in neighborhoods has led to backlash, a recent poll found that Chicagoans want more help for this community. And many still have questions as they try to learn about these new neighbors.

Community experts discussed the legal questions that remain for this community amid changes to asylum, how new arrivals are navigating building a new home and how Chicagoans are assisting.

Our event moderator, Elvia Malagón, Sun-Times social justice and wage gap reporter, was joined by special guests:

  • Dr. Evelyn Figueroa, director of the Pilsen Food Pantry who has assisted new arrivals in Chicago.
  • Frank Sandoval, an attorney from Venezuela who defended himself pro se and was granted asylum in the United States in 2022.
  • Karina Ayala-Bermejo, president and CEO of Instituto Del Progreso Latino.

Watch the conversation now.

About a month after the event, Elvia wrote about guest Frank Sandoval and his reunion with his family after 5 years apart.

This forum was made possible by the generous support of The Chicago Community Trust.

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