CHICAGO — Migrants arriving in Chicago are using their passions to make some money while they wait for their work permits to be approved.
On Wednesday, a group of migrants were busy at work at Pritzker Park next to the Harold Washington Library as they cut hair at their pop up barber shop.
Colombian migrant Dylan Rodriquez arrived in Chicago just over a week ago. After meeting a group of barbers, they began to cut hair on the street for new arrivals and people passing for $20. Even offering free cuts to those customers who don’t have money.
Rodriquez started cutting hair at 15-years-old and even has tattoos on his arm portraying his love for the profession.
Most of these men Rodriquez works with were professional barbers in their home countries and have been cutting hair in Chicago for about two months. Typically, they see about 15 to 20 clients each day.
Nearly 12,000 asylum seekers have arrived in Chicago since last summer. Most of the Loop barbers stay at a city shelter nearby and are still waiting for official work permits.
Rodriguez and his fellow barbers are also saving money to buy clippers and other tools, even having some donated.
Many of the migrants say they hope to get jobs in barber shops in the city once they get work permits.
Some who have heard about the barbers have posted negatively online, saying they should have a license to be cutting hair.
WGN-TV reached out to Alderman Lamont Robinson’s office and they said they have yet to receive any complaints.