CHICAGO - Two more buses carrying migrants from the southern border arrived at Union Station in Chicago on Friday.
It marks the fourth group of migrants that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has sent to the sanctuary city since last Wednesday, and officials expect that more will be coming.
"A lot of them are leaving to find a better future for their kids and a future in general, because right now in Venezuela, there is no future," said Baltazar Enriquez, Little Village Community Council president.
As of Friday morning, a city spokesman said 274 migrants had been driven up from Texas since last week. The number does not include the migrants who arrived Friday afternoon.
FOX 32 Chicago was there as several dozen migrants departed charter buses and subsequently boarded CTA buses heading for the Salvation Army Freedom Center.
Many of them have traveled for months seeking refuge.
"A lot of them are scared, they don’t know what city they are in, they are confused," said Enriquez.
For those men, women and children, the more than 20-hour bus ride from Texas was the shortest leg of their journey.
"They left, they just left with nothing. And they just came with the clothes they have, some of them have their shoes worn out because they’ve been walking for two months," said Enriquez.
Enriquez has been helping refugees for years and says this is no different.
He is providing migrants with clothing, job resources and cell phones, so they can reconnect with their loved ones.
"A lot of tears, but it was happy tears, just to say ‘hi.’ They haven’t said ‘hi’ in months," said Enriquez.
Once they get to Chicago, the migrants are given a health evaluation and provided with food, clothing and shelter.
Earlier Friday, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin visited the Salvation Army Freedom Center where he sat down with families who are now looking to make America their new home.
"One family, Carlos with his wife and 5-year-old and 9-month-old child, left Venezuela in the middle of May. They’ve gone through a harrowing, life-threatening journey to make it to the border of the United States. And then they were swooped up and put on a bus and sent here," Durbin said. "And to listen to their story is to understand the desperation of these families. That they’re literally willing to risk their lives to try to come to a place where they can feed their children and have a chance for a future."
City, state and non-profit organizations are working with migrants to help them secure jobs.
The Illinois Department of Human Services said many of them are temporarily being housed in urban and suburban hotels.
The City of Chicago is looking for volunteers to assist with welcoming migrants.
Donations of new shoes, clothing, backpacks, diapers, baby formula and other goods are also being accepted.
Learn more by clicking here.
For details on how to assist the Little Village Community Council with its efforts, click here.