September 20, 2023

Mayor Brandon Johnson Statement on The Biden Administration Extension and Redesignation of Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status, and Extension of Work Permits to Asylum Seekers

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

“As we reach a critical point in our mission to receive new arrivals and put them on a path to resettlement, the action taken today by President Biden and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas to expand the Temporary Protected Status to Venezuelan immigrants comes at a welcome time for our city and our country.  

“On the heels of a Washington D.C. visit from our Deputy Mayor for Immigrant, Migrant and Refugee Rights, Beatriz Ponce de Leon, we applaud this decision to provide thousands of new arrivals to Chicago the opportunity to work, support themselves and their families, and build community. This action demonstrates how intergovernmental coordination across national, state and local governments continues to make our city a safe sanctuary to all people. 

“This is also an important step in protecting individuals who seek work without fear of exploitation, wage theft and trafficking. Without legal work authorization, new arrivals seeking employment are at greater risk for mistreatment. But where there are labor shortages in our city, especially in the fields of food processing, clean energy, health care (including nursing and dentistry), transportation and warehousing, it is clear that authorizing new arrivals for work in these sectors would have a significant public benefit – both to our local and regional economies, and to the families and individuals who are new arrivals to our great city.   

“My administration will continue seeking ways to partner with City, County and State agencies to garner more resources, improve our capacity, expand our operations and influence policy change at the federal level. We will advocate for all Chicagoans, and look forward to more effective collaboration that yields results and creative pathways to shelter and resettle our growing immigrant, refugee and migrant population.”