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Know Your Rights
Source: Public News Service
Subject: Immigration

Survey: NYC needs to do more for growing migrant population

new survey showed New York City’s population of asylum-seekers is struggling, and makes suggestions for improvements.

The survey by the group Make the Road New York found along with declining access to resources and services, migrants face the impacts of Mayor Eric Adams’ “30-60 day rule,” which limits shelter stays for migrants and asylum-seekers from 30-60 days.

Natalia Aristazabal, deputy director of Make the Road New York, said the rule disrupts many asylum-seekers’ cases.

“You have to have a steady address. If you have a change of address, you have to communicate that to USCIS and the federal government,” Aristazabal explained. “But if people are being evicted after 30 to 60 days and they don’t have a place to live, they’re not going to be able to update the federal government as to where they’re living.”

She added before the rule, people had more time to find their footing, which is important because translation services are not always available.

A New York City Comptroller’s report finds the rule’s implementation was haphazard, since other services for migrants are insufficient. The survey found expediting work authorizations and putting city resources into baseline services could improve migrants’ situations.

The survey also showed a growing part of the migrant population is from African countries.

Adama Bah, executive director of the nonprofit Afrikana, is one of many immigrant advocates who want to see more action at the federal level to help improve life for migrants in the city. Bah said misunderstandings about them hamper their progress to citizenship.

“The other part that’s missing is their stories. Who is coming? Where are they coming from? These are people that are fleeing gender-based violence, civil war, climate justice issues,” Bah stressed. “You have the stories are missing, you have the misunderstanding about who’s coming and then frankly, Black migrants are missing from the conversation.”

Some 21% of migrants surveyed were Black and the results indicate a sizable population comes from Western African countries. Bah feels there has not been enough conversation around how to support the next waves of migrants coming to the U.S.