Rally in downtown Chicago calls for easier work permit process

A local group rallied in downtown Chicago on Saturday, calling for action to make the process of obtaining a work permit easier.

Even before migrants began arriving in Chicago from Texas last year, obtaining work permits has long been a tedious process.

Families aspiring to live the American dream seek to work without fear of repercussions.

More than 100 people gathered for the rally at Federal Plaza, advocating for work permits for all.

"I'm here today so I can achieve the American dream… My parents, who have been here 19 years, hope to accomplish that dream," one woman said.

City Council members acknowledged that local efforts cannot succeed without federal mandates.

"What other countries do you know where people have to plead for the right to work… it's very shameful. Every generation that comes here," said Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez.

These groups contend they're struggling to secure jobs, pay rent, and buy homes while caring for their families without work authorization.

Obtaining a work permit is no simple task. Eligibility hinges on gaining temporary protective status, parole status, or having been in the country for 150 days after filing a petition for asylum.

The application process is reported to be challenging, with many individuals unsure where to seek assistance.

The city's deputy mayor for immigrant, migrant, and refugee rights expressed solidarity and called President Joe Biden to take action.