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Know Your Rights

Newly arrived New Yorkers are not receiving the support they need to thrive

  • Natalia Aristizabal Betancur Deputy Director

Yesterday, in partnership with Afrikana and Hester Street, we unveiled a new survey of 500+ asylum seekers in New York: Leaving Behind the Newest New Yorkers: Shortcomings to Welcoming Asylum Seekers to New York City in 2024.

It is our second survey of its kind, and it includes the first-ever set of data on the experiences of Black migrants. Read and share this Gothamist exclusive to learn more!

Over the past year Mayor Adams has blamed our new neighbors for his own financial mismanagement of New York City, while at the same time cutting critical services and creating additional barriers that have made it even harder for people to begin building a life here.

Our survey shows the devastating consequences of these policies, as well as the particular barriers faced by the rising number of Black new arrivals.

A few key takeaways from this new survey:

  • Fewer migrants than last year have stable housing in NYC, due to new rules that force people to leave shelter or reapply after 30 or 60 days. Almost no one has been able to find consistent housing after leaving their placement.
  • The number of new arrivals with access to three full meals a day is down 15% from 2023, and the number with access to warm clothing is down 8%.
  • A stunning 95% of respondents said they were struggling to find work – all while 91% said they would take any job available.
  • Over 90% of migrants surveyed had applied or intend to apply for asylum, even though only 6% of all asylum seekers surveyed had a lawyer to represent them in immigration court.

This report demonstrates once again that the cruelty that the Mayor has displayed has led to widespread pain for migrants, from extreme anxiety to rising homelessness and a lack of steady work.

It is incumbent on us to provide a pathway for our new neighbors to put down roots and build stable and vibrant communities because all New Yorkers—whether you arrived yesterday or decades ago—deserve a roof over their heads, well-funded education for their children, and the opportunity to thrive.

In solidarity,

— Natalia Aristizabal Betancur, Deputy Director