CHICAGO — Dozens of Afghan children have arrived in Chicago as refugees evacuated from Afghanistan during the U.S. withdrawal continue to reach American cities, officials said.
The unaccompanied Afghan minors — children who traveled without a parent or legal guardian — arrived Wednesday at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, weeks after the U.S. ended its longest war.
Nubia Willman, director of the city’s Office of New Americans, said 75 Afghan minors had been expected to arrive in Chicago. She said at least 500 Afghans are expected to be resettled in the city, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
The U.S Department of Homeland Security confirmed that a flight of Afghan children from Qatar had arrived Wednesday in Chicago. An agency spokesperson said the minors will be reunited with a vetted relative or will remain in the custody of the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement.
The children will receive COVID-19 vaccines if they are eligible for it, according to DHS.
A spokesman for Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications along with the Department of Aviation were working with state and federal officials to assist the children.
“They have given up their homes, their families, their lives as they know them for a chance to survive," Lightfoot spokesman Cesar Rodriguez said in the statement posted on Twitter.
From the archives: Tornado rips through Southern Illinois on May 29, 1982
Many residents of Genoa say the last 18 months have provided new ways for people — whether they vote red or blue — to come together, from ensuring a new restaurant on Main Street stays afloat to organizing blood drives at the local firehouse.
The city of Chicago is launching a marketing campaign to get at least 77% of adults and children over 12 vaccinated with at least one COVID-19 shot by the end of the year, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced.