Chicago—Governor Pritzker issued the following statement after the announcement that President Biden and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will expand temporary protections, including work permits, to thousands of recent asylum seekers in Illinois and across the country:
"Since day one of this humanitarian crisis, I have heard one thing from migrant families and their advocates— they want to build better lives and work. I'm very pleased that President Biden has listened to my concerns and those of other governors and political leaders and expanded Temporary Protected Status to migrants from Venezuela, thousands of whom have been sent to Illinois over the last year. Despite traveling thousands of treacherous miles and then being used as political chess pieces by those who should have welcomed and helped them, they are eager to contribute to their new communities and get to work. Reducing wait times for employment approvals and expanding protection status for those coming from Venezuela will get people working and on a path to building a better future for themselves and their families. In Illinois, we're facing worker shortages in critical industries like hospitality, food processing, health care, and transportation, and these additional workers will help relieve those shortages and the burden they place on employers. My administration will continue to work with the Biden administration and the Department of Homeland Security to address the ongoing influx of asylum seekers with care, compassion, and practicality as this crisis evolves."