Study Shows Fewer Asylum Seekers Choose Chicago
Long a draw for Mexican immigrants, a new study shows fewer families of asylum seekers choose Chicago as their destination. A new Mexican border study said Chicago ranked 21st in destination choice for refugees, and only 76 families of asylum seekers in the study choose Chicago. Houston and Los Angelos were the top settlement destinations. The study by a University of California San Diego professor covered October 2018 to June 2019, and Chicago was named by less than half the number of families headed to Nashville, Tennessee, and only slightly more than those headed for Fort Myers, Florida.
The report by Tom K. Wong, PhD, Associate Professor of Political Science at UC San Diego, was released in August and said:
“Over 1 out of every 3, or 34.7%, of the asylum-seeking heads of households reported issues related to conditions in immigration detention, treatment in detention, or medical issues.”
The study survey 17,100 adults and children in migrant families who were housed in a San Diego shelter:
- 48% Guatemalans
- 30% Hondurans
- 8% El Salvadorans
- 5% Haitians
What the Study Found
The study found that 1 in 5 heads of households spoke a primary language other than Spanish, yet nearly 90% of them were given legal instructions in Spanish. In addition to where they settled, the study also documented how the migrants said they were treated after entering the U.S.:
- 31% reported problems with U.S. custody conditions
- Families were held an average of 3.4 days
- The most common complaints were about food and water, including insufficient infant formula, spoiled food and dirty water
- Other issues include problems with hygiene, including not having a toothbrush or toothpaste and lack of showers
- Nearly 50% had issues related to sleep, overcrowding and confinement and cold temperatures
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has asked Congress for help managing the increasing number of migrants on numerous occasions.
Mario Godoy and the immigration attorneys at Godoy Law Office in Chicago fight for the rights of immigrants in Illinois and help immigrants navigate the complex and numerous immigration policies, procedures, and regulations. If you need help with an immigration issue, please contact our office at 855-554-3639.