12,000 refugees since January: New York overwhelmed by migrants

12,000 refugees since January: New York overwhelmed by refugees migrants

MISE À DAY

NEW YORK | New York City is engulfed in an unprecedented wave of migrants that are overflowing shelters.

Over the past year, no less than 44,000 refugee claimants have settled in the American metropolis, filling the accommodation centers that welcome them beyond their capacity.

The trend has even increased recently, since during the month of last January alone, 12,000 refugees arrived in New York, according to figures from the municipal administration.

Our Office of Investigation was able to note that entire hotels, some of which have several hundred rooms, have been requisitioned by the municipal authorities. 

We had to declare a state of emergency by setting up temporary centers of great capacity, but criticized because of their rudimentary comfort.

The city of New York is the target of a concerted action governors of some southern states who are sending migrants, who have arrived in large numbers across the Mexican border, by busloads to cities in the northern United States.

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Immense pressure

Overwhelmed, the city's mayor, Eric Adams, conceded that the pressure on municipal services was “tremendous”.

He estimates the cost of the crisis at $2 billion.

Meet yesterday at the New York Port Authority bus terminal, where aid is distributed to migrants (see text below), Eduars Antonio Maleros Rivas is typical of migrants who arrive in the American metropolis. 

Originally from Venezuela, Eduars Antonio Maleros Rivas arrived in New York a few days ago as a migrant.

Aged 30 and from Venezuela, he fled his country in the hope of a better life.

“The problem in my country is that we have no possibility to find a job,” he explains to us in Spanish, also referring to the repression that reigns there.

He has only been in New York for a few days.

To Canada?

When Eduars is asked if he's thinking of taking his journey further north to Canada, he replies that he's currently giving himself time to think about it.

“We're talking about better benefits and opportunities in Canada, compared to the United States. But first I want to spend some time here to see how it goes,” he explains.

A young couple with a toddler, Darling and Starling Senado are from Venezuela, like Edwards. We found them at the Watson Hotel, whose 600 spacious rooms are entirely reserved for refugees.

They were luckier than other asylum seekers housed in the uncomfortable temporary centres. The couple have yet to make many plans. For now, they are relishing their decision to leave a country that left them “no chance for a normal life”. 

Few requests for the free tickets

A queue travelers at the New York Port Authority Bus Terminal preparing to drive to Montreal on Monday evening.

Migrants who have obtained a free bus ticket to Plattsburgh, in order to cross the Canadian border at Roxham Road, appear to be few in number at this time.

Our Bureau of Investigation is arrived yesterday and the day before yesterday at the New York Port Authority Bus Terminal, from where carriers leave for major cities in the United States.

At the boarding gate of the line that makes the trip to Plattsburgh, in the State of New York, it was impossible to meet a single person whose ticket had been paid for by the municipal authorities, despite a dozen interviews conducted with migrants likely to take the famous Roxham Road.

The one-way trip to Plattsburgh costs an average of US$80 per person. Several migrants we met seemed surprised to learn of the existence of this reimbursement.

Controversial policy

The policy that New York City would pay for bus tickets for illegal migrants who want to use Roxham Road has caused quite a stir in Quebec.

As the New York Post reported on Monday, it It was possible to see the presence of National Guard soldiers at the bus terminal, where they set up a help center for migrants. But we were unable to find anyone there who had obtained free tickets, as reported by the New York daily. 

At the same station, members of the National Guard were not too busy giving out bus tickets yesterday.

The city administration has nevertheless confirmed the existence of the policy, stating that it applies to any migrant who wants to leave the city to go elsewhere in the United States.

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