New York, known for its cultural diversity and thriving immigrant population has become a significant destination for asylum seekers. However, it is crucial to note that the ongoing surge in New York City is a direct consequence of politicians utilizing asylum seekers as mere political pawns and callously subjecting them to days-long bus rides, often without knowledge or input into where they’re going. Despite New York City’s reputation as a beacon of hope and opportunity, many asylum seekers face immense challenges due to the lack of access to basic resources.
This report presents the findings of a comprehensive survey conducted to understand the experiences asylum seekers have had and the resource gaps they face in New York. Administered in conjunction with MRNY’s asylee aid phone distribution program, the survey is meant to provide additional information and a fuller perspective on asylum seeker’s experience – assessing their needs, identifying how they’re navigating the process, and highlighting areas that can be improved within the existing network of support services, programs, and processes available.
This survey is a continuation of MRNY’s 2022 connectivity program, which aims to provide help through improving communication and connection to services for new migrants, including basic support and essentials. Responses for over 700 surveys were collected and synthesized to shed light on specific challenges faced by asylum seekers in accessing healthcare, education, work, and basic resources in New York. Exit interviews with volunteers who administered the surveys captured additional insight that was not captured by the survey questions. By systematically examining the data collected from the survey, as well as insight from those who interacted directly with the asylees, we aim to identify the extent of the problem and propose solutions to address these resource gaps.