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Know Your Rights
Source: The New York Carib News
Subject: Immigration

Black Migrants Face Scarcity and Inequity says Study

In a 2024 Asylum Survey Report titled “Leaving Behind the Newest New Yorkers” released on Thursday by three immigrant rights and community-based organizations shed light on the disparities faced by Black migrants compared to their Latin American counterparts in New York City. According to the report jointly authored by Make the Road New YorkHester St., and Afrikana, Black migrants are disproportionately affected by eviction notices, food insecurity, lack of warm clothing, and employment barriers.

The findings, based on a survey of 586 migrants conducted in February, revealed stark contrasts in the experiences of Black migrants and Latin American migrants. While 85% of Black migrants reported lacking job training, only 52% of Latin American migrants faced the same challenge. Additionally, a mere 7% of Black migrants had applied for federal work authorization, contrasting sharply with the 32% of other migrants who had done so.

The report emphasized the urgent need for policymakers’ attention to address these inequities. Natalia Aristizabal, the deputy director of Make the Road New York, emphasized the importance of humanizing the experiences of Black migrants, stating, “Unfortunately the narrative around this population has not been a good one, so we want to be able to humanize people’s story and the experiences that they are going through at this time.”

Responding to the report, Kayla Mamelak, a spokesperson for Mayor Eric Adams, highlighted the city’s efforts in managing the national humanitarian crisis of migrant arrivals. However, she acknowledged the need for a national solution to address the scale of the challenge.

The report revealed shifts in the demographic composition of migrants arriving in New York City. While Venezuelans continued to represent the largest share of migrants, there was a notable increase in the proportion of Guineans and Ecuadorians among respondents.

Black migrants, primarily from West African nations, faced particular challenges upon arriving in the city, including language barriers and limited access to interpreters. The report underscored the struggles of Black single adults, with 93% receiving eviction notices compared to 66% of single adults from Latin America.

Furthermore, disparities in access to basic necessities were evident, with fewer Black migrants reporting receiving three full meals a day and having access to warm clothing compared to their Latin American counterparts.

Critics, including David Giffen from the Coalition for the Homeless, condemned the city’s response to the humanitarian crisis, calling for meaningful action and support from the federal government.

As the city grapples with the influx of migrants, there is a pressing need for investment in legal representation and English language education to support migrants in navigating their challenges and accessing opportunities for stability and integration.