In the shadow of Chicago’s tallest building, migrants wait on the streets to be placed in shelters.

Buses provided by the city were being used for public transportation, now they are the migrants’ only refuge from the freezing temperatures.

Right now the situation, the process of the immigration, is not good,” Maikol from Costa Rica said.

Sometimes a non-profit comes by to give out water and winter clothes.

Maikol said he has been sleeping on the buses for three days, but that he is fortunate because others have been there for weeks.

He crossed the Rio Grande River in Texas during the first week of the New Year.

He says he and other migrants expected to find work immediately in America.

“This is so confusing,” Maikol said.

Others, like Oscar Crato from Venezuela, have come with their entire families.

They say there is nothing. The shelters are full. I am desperate because I have been here for six days with my three small children,” Crato said.

As the migrants situations worsen, organizations like the Greater Chicago Food Depository have been stepping in to help.

Jim Conwell, the Food Depository’s spokesperson gives me a tour of their warehouse where every day he says over 300,000 pounds of food leaves to get delivered across Chicago.

We believe food is a human right, and no one in our community should be without food,” Conwell said.

Now migrants have become a big part of their community.

Conwell says asylum seekers have become 10% of their service base.

Thankfully, he says with increased state and city funding theyve been able to keep up with the increasing demand.

We havent had to sacrifice or reduce our service to long-time Chicagoans who need food assistance because of the new arrivals,” Conwell said. “Weve been able to do both.

But back on the streets its clear much more than food is needed to help.

The city has now spent over $150 million supporting migrants.

As migrants like Maikol are not sure how much longer theyll be welcome.

Some people dont like it. The immigrants. And I know that,” Maikol said. “But bro, me and everyone have dream. The best option, the best life. But this is so hard.

Over 35,000 migrants have arrived in Chicago by bus and plane since 2022.

As of January 18 over 200 of them are waiting in the cities airports, police stations, and warming buses for placement in a shelter.

Full Migrant Interview: Oscar

Migrants awaiting placement in Chicago: Full interview with Oscar

Full Migrant Interview: Maikol

Migrants awaiting placement in Chicago: Full interview with Maikol