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New Yorkers Help Newly Arrived Migrants Find Housing and Other Essentials

This summary about New Yorkers offering to help newly arrived migrants was featured in Documented’s Early Arrival newsletter. You can subscribe to receive it in your inbox three times per week here.

Our latest story on Documented details how newly arrived migrants are faring  in New York City. 

A difficult housing situation: Migrants are describing a violent and chaotic atmosphere in New York City’s shelter system that is making them consider leaving, writes Giulia McDonnell Nieto Del Rio, Documented’s immigration enforcement reporter via Report for America. 

Unlike many previous communities that came to the City, this group of asylum seekers largely lacks relatives to stay with. 

Some migrants said they have been through as many as four city-run shelters in a month. Others said they have witnessed fist fights and drug use inside the shelters, and tried to stay quiet and unnoticeable to avert confrontation. 

Migrants who have left the shelters have been relying on faith groups and mutual aid organizations to help them find safe and affordable housing. 

Help from faith groups and mutual aid organizations: When a fight broke out recently in a Williamsburg shelter, a church in Woodside, Queens, provided some fleeing migrants with a place of respite. On Sundays, dozens of asylum seekers show up to Saint Peter’s Lutheran Church in Manhattan to ask for clothes, food, legal help, and other assistance some said they could not find through the shelter system.

In Brooklyn, the Bay Ridge Sanctuary Project — run by advocates from a church in Bay Ridge — offers meals, worker-safety training, case management services and even a limited space to sleep for those who need it.

“Now, people knock on the door in the middle of night…It was overwhelming for the last couple of weeks,” said Fabiola Mendieta-Cuapio, an advocate with the group. 

Migrants are also facing delays in receiving work authorization while their cases go through the immigration court system. Many are forced to rely on city services and charity in order to secure their footing — a precarious way to survive in an expensive city where the weather is now turning cold.

Read the full report from Giulia McDonnell Nieto Del Rio on Documented.


New York

South Brooklyn Mutual Aid is gathering clothes and supplies for migrant families: The organization is collecting a mix of new and gently used items for asylum seekers at drop-off locations across South Brooklyn. — Click here and swipe for a list of drop off sites

Some Staten Island residents divided over newly arrived migrants: In the West Shore neighborhood of Travis, conversations about the migrants have quickly devolved into conspiracy-laced warnings of crime. — Gothamist

Study illustrates how policing, even in sanctuary cities, affect undocumented young adults: The study leverages administrative student data from the City University of New York that identify about 13,000 undocumented students among more than 350,000 first-year students. — Sociological Science

Documented’s Audience & Community Director, Nicolas Rios, speaks to Radio France International about New York’s State of Emergency:  The asylum seekers are in a precarious situation, they come with previous traumas, and find themselves in an expensive city without work permits. — Listen in Spanish here 

Around the U.S. 

Shortage of attorneys in Chicago’s immigration system amid growing backlog of cases: The arrival of more than 2,000 migrants sent to Chicago from Texas is exacerbating the need for immigration lawyers who handle asylum cases. — Borderless Magazine

Texas Sheriff certifies migrants flown to Martha’s Vineyard as crime victims: This allows the 49 migrants to apply for U-visas pending the results of an investigation. Suspects have been identified but their identities have not been revealed. — AP News 

Watchdog examining DeSantis’ flights to Martha’s Vineyard: The Treasury Department’s inspector general is examining whether Florida improperly used state and local COVID-19 recovery funds to transfer the migrants. — CNN

Florida paid about $1 million for two migrant flights: State documents released Friday show the state paid a company $950,000 to organize flights to Delaware and Illinois. — AP News

Survivor of trailer-tractor smuggling that killed 53 shares what happened: Marvin Gomez comes from Huehuetenango, where 73% of people live in poverty, and turned to smugglers to make the dangerous journey to the U.S. — ABC News

Washington D.C.

Federal judge who declared DACA illegal last year rules it can continue with limitations:

Those limitations say there can be no new DACA applicants, but that those who are already in the program can continue to be in it and renew their applications. — AP News

Nonprofits sue ICE for failing to provide sufficient meeting spaces with detainees: The lawsuit states ICE is restricting lawyers from scheduling calls and leaving messages for clients, and denying access to videoconferencing technology. — Reuters

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