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Know Your Rights
Category: Immigration

We surveyed nearly 800 asylum seekers in NY. Here’s what we learned…

  • Natalia Aristizabal Betancur Deputy Director

Today, we released a first-of-its-kind report that sheds light on the enormous challenges that asylum seekers face. We surveyed nearly 800 asylum seekers who have recently arrived in New York City about their experiences.

Here are some of the key findings:

  • Virtually all respondents intend to seek asylum, but almost none have found a lawyer to represent them.
  • Virtually no one has been able to find work authorization or steady employment, and the majority are struggling to afford basic expenses.
  • Most respondents and their families have not been able to access English literacy support from a city agency or nonprofit.
  • Nearly all respondents are living in temporary housing.
  • Respondents have faced significant barriers to accessing health services. ​​​​​

During a press conference earlier at our Queens office, Jesus, a recently arrived asylum seeker from Venezuela, shared: 

“My wife, my two young daughters, and I arrived 19 days ago in New York City, and I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to build a better and safer future for my family here. We are currently living in a shelter, and we don’t have a place to cook. We are receiving the food that the city gives us, for which we are grateful, but it worries me to see that my daughters have lost weight. Also, I have not been able to receive any legal advice regarding my case.”

Check out our full report and its findings here! Thank you for being with us in the fight to support our newly arrived neighbors.

In solidarity,